Due to climate change, humans are on the brink of a global catastrophe. Natural gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) retain such immense emission rates that, if unimpeded, could result in an international disaster.

Scientists on the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regard a change in global temperatures of 1.5C as the threshold after which the worst effects of climate change can be seen. The ice caps would melt, causing an unprecedented rise in sea levels, flooding islands and coastal cities. Droughts and heat waves are projected to become more intense. The strength, duration, and frequency of category 4 and 5 hurricanes have all seen increases since the 1980s. Human influence on hurricanes is unclear, though these increases are expected to continue as the climate continues to warm (NASA). Essentially, try to conceptualize a world full of terror, unfit for human existence.

This unfortunate, though likely reality would also affect us locally. Parts of Seabrook, Hampton, and Rye would be underwater, and the current shore line would be pushed back miles. Lobsters wouldnt be able to survive, and local lobster would cease to exist. This would result in a $1B hit to Maines economy, eliminating countless jobs in the process, according to a 2016 study by Colby College and the Maine Lobster Dealers Association. Areas off the coast would experience droughts, restricting access to drinking water for millions. All this and more if temperatures rise more than 1.5C. You might be thinking that a 1.5 degree rise will take decades, but heres the scary truth: temperatures have already increased 1C, and the IPCC says we could reach 1.5 as soon as 2030. Nobody can ignore climate change because it wont matter in their lifetime - this issue is here, and now.

In a mere 12 years, we could see these drastic consequences unless we all do our part. We implore you to simply use energy efficient light bulbs, buy recycled products, limit unnecessary driving (bike to work, carpool, take public transit), or bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. If you seek a more significant contribution, you could convert to solar power, or purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle. Please, help save the world - and the human race - from climate change.

Jamie OKeefe, Owen Anderson and Will Ducharme are students at Exeter High School.