Shang a de Lange

by Gareth on May 3, 2012

Much exercised by the question of ocean warming, New Zealand’s most litigious temperature savant posts excerpts from an article on the subject, and thanks Waikato University’s Willem de Lange for introducing him to this “really clear treatment of ocean warming and ocean-atmosphere interaction”. Two things are interesting about Treadgold’s post, and neither has anything to do with the contents of that article1.

The piece, by oceanographer Robert E. Stevenson (deceased), was published in the summer 2000 edition of 21st Century Science & Technology magazine. This is interesting in and of itself, because 21st Century Science & Technology is is an organ of the Lyndon LaRouche movement, centred on an oddball and extremely fringe US politician. We last encountered LaRouche when exploring the footnotes in Ian Wishart’s remarkable climate book Air Con. Amongst many strange things, LaRouche believes that the President of the US and Prince Philip are conspiring to reduce the population of the world from 7 billion to 2 billion, and that financier George Soros is their henchman2. 21st Century Science & Technology espouses what might be charitably described as non-mainstream views on many science-related subjects, from the “swindle of special relativity” to global warming as “hoax“.

Which leads me to the second interesting thing: does Waikato University’s Willem de Lange, one of the tiny coterie of climate sceptics still active in New Zealand academic circles, listed by his university as an expert on “tsunami and storm surge prediction and mitigation; wave-induced sediment transport; dispersal studies; climate change; oceanography”, really regard Stevenson’s article as a credible reference? Would he be prepared to defend this 12 year old article’s interpretation of the physics of ocean warming against his peers? Or was he perhaps just digging around for a little chum to throw to the less well-educated hordes who congregate around Treadgold’s pulpit desperate for anything to support an oddball contention, that ocean warming somehow has nothing to do with the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? You be the judge…

You might think that de Lange, Treadgold and Lyndon LaRouche make for strange bedfellows, but when you have nothing better to turn to, I suppose — as Steven Stills so memorably sang — you have to love the one you’re with. Rather a pity for all their credibility, what little might be left of it.

[Bay City Rollers for the title, Steven Stills (& CSJT) for the close.]

  1. Life’s too short, basically, to debunk an article of dubious provenance now 12 years old. []
  2. No, really. Check the link. []

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dappledwater May 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

I note that Treadgold cites my SkS article on Loeb (2012) but doesn’t appear to understand the discussion. The shaded area in figure 4b shows the spread of the 15 climate model simulations matches the variability observed. So contrary to his claims, the climate models and reality are consistent with each other.

I have a much simplified discussion of Earth’s energy imbalance in the works – just awaiting same illustrations.

Gareth May 4, 2012 at 9:25 am

It appears Treadgold has stirred himself to reply to the above post, but in doing so only manages to demonstrate that he completely fails to understand the subject. Considering that he describes the RealClimate post on the mechanism of ocean warming as “oddly complex and unconvincing”, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised… ;-)

bill May 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

21C S&T is also the home of Jaworowski’s [in]famous, “Ice Core Data Show No Carbon Dioxide Increase” and “The Sun, Not Man, Still Rules Our Climate.”

You can also find Nils-Axel Mörner’s “There Is No Alarming Sea Level Rise!”

And various articles on topics as diverse as how DDT is actually, um, great (it’s banning was a Mathusian plot to reduce population, it seems; ‘Leading Entomologist Attacks Anti-DDT Genocidalists’), how the fusion program was ‘euthanized’ (‘without the development of fusion propulsion, we will not be able to travel back and forth to Mars in days—instead of years’), and, of course, revisionist histories (I mean, really, where is Punt, the Land of God? hint: ‘Ancient Egyptians had sea-going vessels and the astrogation skills to make long-distance voyages, including to the Americas’).

Now, what do all these ideas have in common, boys and girls?

Thomas May 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Madness, complete madness. Nero burned Rome, and the anti science nutters just burned the last of the bridges in an orgy of public self destruction:

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