South Bend Common Council to vote on climate change action plan

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The South Bend Common Council is set to vote on a climate control action plan resolution Monday.

Should it pass, the resolution will aim to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses and provide different ways to help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“This is something that not everyone is aware of. I think many people think, ‘Oh, we’ll deal with climate change when it comes,’ but we won’t be able to. We have to deal with climate change now,” said Alan Hamlet, a professor who teaches civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences at the University of Notre Dame.

A Purdue University study indicates that the state of Indiana could see an extreme rise in temperatures, increasing averages by at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050. The study shows extremely hot temperatures could cause winter and spring to see more rain, which means more floods and runoff.

Hamlet has been studying climate change for years and says the more greenhouse gas levels -- like carbon dioxide levels -- increase, the more climate change will become a problem.

“The CO2, once you put it up there, it stays up there. This is an irreversible problem that requires for us to take action now to avoid these impacts, these irreversible impacts, in the future,” Hamlet said.

If the climate change action plan is passed, the next step would be to develop one, with the expectation of drafting the plan in the fall of 2019.

“It’s super important that we do not go backwards. This is not the kind of problem where we can let this go on until this is a serious problem. We already have problems, but it would become extreme in the future,” Hamlet said.