Now that Boris Johnson has finally Godwinated the EU referendum debate I don't need to discuss that, and can talk about this instead. Though actually, it's about at the same intellectual level as Johnson's comments. Everyone agrees it's junk, the questions are why this stuff gets written, and how it gets published. I won't speculate here on the why (I already did here), just the how.
It has appeared in a new journal of unknown quality, the AGU (partnering with Wiley) seemingly jumping on the open access pay-to-publish bandwagon. It is worth noting, Bates has not previously published there, he didn't choose it out of familiarity or convenience, but had (apparently) been shopping around since at least 2014 with this idea trying to find a home. Pretty much everything gets published eventually, by the way. It just takes longer if it's either rubbish, or a revolutionary idea that is well ahead of its time.
It's a shame Bates didn't have the guts to try ACP or ESD, where his manuscript would have been shredded by reviewers in short order. It is all too easy for a lazy or overstretched editor at any journal to simply use the author's “suggested reviewers” without also looking for an independent view. At least in the case of the EGU open review process, an incompetent reviewing process is in principle discouraged by the fact that it's out in the open, and there is of course the opportunity for other interested parties to add their views. Score +1 for open review.