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Fort Wayne addressing climate change

For most of the 21st century scientists, climatologists, and meteorologists have been warning about climate change and the impacts it could have on our cities.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 8:53 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 4:31 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry recently spent time in Hawaii. He met with other mayors throughout the country to explore ways to improve their cities and ways to protect them from future threats. One of the future threats that was discussed was climate change.

For most of the 21st century scientists, climatologists, and meteorologists have been warning about climate change and the impacts it could have on our cities. Recently, FOX 55's Caleb Saylor sat down with Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry to discuss his time spent in Hawaii where he spoke with other mayors about what Fort Wayne is doing and could be doing to be more eco-friendly.

The world around us is changing. The climate around us is changing. 97% percent of scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. Plastics in our water, increasing carbon in our atmosphere.

"That worries me immensely that much of what's happening in the world now as far as climate change could very well put us in harm's way in the future," said Mayor Henry.

One of the big topics at the conference is reducing the use of fossil fuels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says over 63% of electricity consumption was fossil fuel based in 2018. Reducing the use of fossil fuels reduces the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Something Fort Wayne has been doing for several years.

"Almost every vehicle that we have has been converted to either e-85 fuel or other types of other hybrid operations in order to cut fuel consumption. A city of our size of a quarter of a million people, the fact that we have come as far as we have with our vehicles was a surprise to many."

And just like for the city, slowly changing all vehicles from traditional fuel to more sustainable fuels like electric over the years is a logical next step to help protect our atmosphere.

The City is doing other things as well to cut back on energy consumption, like converting street lights and traffic lights to LED, but Mayor Henry says we're well behind other cities on that. Fort Wayne is even producing its own energy, something Henry says impressed other mayors from around the country.

"Going from waste to energy. We here in Fort Wayne have been doing that now for a number of years, moving waste to energy in our filtration plant and a lot of the communities haven't quite got there yet."

As technology has changed, it's allowed for more innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment but if we don't do more, we could be facing more severe meteorological threats

"It's important that now that we have the technology to be able to incorporate some of those things into our current living conditions. I think we have an obligation, a moral obligation, if nothing else, to put those things in place for the generations to come."

In Part 2, we discuss the impacts climate change could have on the weather in the Summit City.

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