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La Jolla High student works to save planet

La Jolla High senior Alexandra Loebig isn’t waiting for graduation to get involved in the real world. She is working to change our planet’s future right now.

Loebig, who prefers to be called Alex, has lived in La Jolla for all of her 17 years. She is member #39 of an organization called Inconvenient Youth.

“I had been trying to find ways to get involved with global warming,” she said. “I found this organization that’s targeted toward youth, so I thought it’d be a great opportunity.”

Inconvenient Youth was officially launched in August by Mary Doerr, who is a high school senior in Palo Alto, Calif. According to its Web site, the group is “a network of teens across America who … feel that the time has come to act in the face of climate change.”

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The group’s name pays homage to Al Gore’s Academy Award-winning documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth.” In the film, Gore gives a presentation, which he calls “the slide show.” Drawing on scientific fact and his own rhetorical skills, Gore gives compelling evidence of how climate change is affecting our planet.

He also outlines what we must do to keep our planet habitable for future generations. And he makes a plea for others to become involved with him in this mission. Inconvenient Youth is taking his call to its collective heart. During its first official gathering last month at Stanford University, the group’s members trained to follow Gore’s example.

“I was one of the original 79 members who went up to Stanford for a conference [where we] were taught to give the slide show,” Alex said.

That slide show is the same one Gore presents in the film. Conference participants were challenged to return home and organize presentations of that slide show in their communities.

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“I’m kind of the representative for San Diego,” Alex said.

She met Doerr at the Stanford conference.

“She set this whole thing up, pretty much single-handedly,” Alex said. “I admire her for all she’s done to get the youth involved, because I really think it’s going to make a difference.”

For her own part, Alex is laying the groundwork to stage several slide-show presentations locally, beginning with her fellow students at La Jolla High.

Inconvenient Youth is currently adding about 50 members a week to its roster.

“It’s amazing how it’s grown in such a short time,” Alex said.

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In addition to her activism and going to school full time, Alex also works a part-time job. She claims she is still able to get out and have fun with her friends as well.

“I try to manage my time well,” she said.

She is quick to honor the support and understanding of those people closest to her, including her parents and friends.

“I think everyone realizes that this is a problem, and everyone is totally supportive of my decision to try and help,” she said.

As for her future, Alex says she is planning for college and intends to major in business. She says she likes the discipline “because it’s so broad” in career opportunities.

“I’ve always wanted to go to USC,” she says, “but we will see where I end up going next fall.”

One senses that college seems like a distant - though admittedly important - concept to her. For now, she would rather focus on changing the world.

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