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Thousands of people attended the People's Climate March, held in Washington D.C., on April 29, 2017, to stand up against climate change.

The National Climate Assessment, a congressionally-mandated report issued by multiple federal agencies, was released publicly on Friday. Its conclusions incorporated many of the same findings from previous iterations of the report: human-driven changes to the environment are causing increasing temperatures worldwide, and the United States is already seeing some effects with extreme weather like heat waves and flooding events. 

Some reports had indicated the climate-skeptical Trump Administration may not release the report at all. However, the report was issued with many findings from previous versions of the document.

But there have been few other surprises. The vast majority of scientific groups pointed to the publication as yet another call for making serious policy changes. The opponents of climate change scientific theory, on the other hand, said it did no more to prove the anthropogenic effects claimed.

Indeed, the Pew Research Center published a major report one year ago, which indicated that belief or non-belief in climate change theories is based mostly on personal politics.

The response after the report has been a continuation of policies from reports' past. A selection of the most visible commentary follows.

  • “The overwhelming scientific evidence of our changing climate cannot be ignored,” said Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Scientists at federal agencies, national labs and academic institutions worked to summarize what we know about climate change in the United States and around the world. The (report) lays out the most recent scientific evidence of climate change, once again confirming that climate change is real, it’s happening now, and human activity is the primary cause.”
  • The Heartland Institute, the think-tank that is perhaps the foremost opponent of climate change theory, published two pieces discounting the threat of human-driven climate change the day the report was released. One contended that a recent Government and Accountability Office report did not prove that “decarbonizing” the United States would be cost-effective for the country’s economy, while the other pointed to a recent poll that found a majority of Americans unwilling to pay any more on their electric bill to offset climate change.
  • “The Fourth National Climate Assessment report contains dire warnings about the fragile state of the Earths’ climate and should serve as a further confirmation of U.S. policymakers that action is urgently needed to address and mitigate the already apparent and visible impacts of a changing climate in the U.S. and around the world,” said the American Chemical Society in a statement.
  • Rick Perry, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, said in an interview the day before the report was released, “I still think the science is out” on proving humans cause 100 percent of the climate changes currently seen. President Donald Trump, who has released most of his morning missives via Twitter, has been on a trip to Asia – but has tweeted about meetings with veterans in Hawaii, the Democratic Party primary last year, golfing with the Japanese Prime Minister, the U.S. unemployment rate, and the Texas church shooting that left 26 dead Sunday morning. In June, Trump removed the U.S. from the international climate change agreement reached in Paris in December 2015.
  • One notable absence was Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx), the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and an avowed opponent of climate science. Smith announced his coming retirement the day before the report was issued – and did not release a public statement on the new iteration of the findings, unlike in the past.
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