The public presentation in the Council Chamber was far from full. The formal proceedings constituted an uncritical acceptance of what Dr Hansen had to say with the cheerleader being Ms Dana Linnet, Principal Officer at the US Consulate in Edinburgh.
The talk itself was almost identical to his recent TED talk. He added his comment (reported here yesterday) that he and 'science' seem to be losing the public debate.
Another addition at the end was his account of a recent paper he has written the journal publication of which is being delayed. He suggested it was because he had included a call for 'action' in the paper.
This fitted a theme. Although in one sense he is a member of the global warming 'establishment', a recurring burden of his presentation was to cast him as a lonely outsider fighting. Those sounding an alarm have indeed captured policy, scientists and public opinion. Dr Hansen wants the response to be much more urgent and far reaching. In that sense he is an outlier.
One example was his reference to sea level rise. The IPCC report of 2007 suggested a sea level rise of 18-59cm this century. Not mentioning that figure he said 'most scientists' believe it will be over one metre and he thinks it will be 'up to five metres or more'. Others think even the IPCC suggestions are alarmist.
Thankfully, as Dr Hansen acknowledges, the indications are that the tide is turning against his rather extreme views. This report of former NASA scientists' concerns is one of the most recent indicators that his litany of disaster predictions is going out of favour.