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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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5 Milestones of the Environmental Movement

April 22, 2013, 12:00 AM
First-earth-day_1365964686

1. The first Earth Day was observed on April 22, 1970. It was celebrated by over 20 million people. Here is Walter Cronkite reporting on the first Earth Day. Shortly afterward, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was born.

2. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in 1972. The chemical had been deemed "so safe you can eat it" in this 1947 video that reported on an epidemic of malaria in north-west Kenya. Watch here:

3. Congress creates the Superfund program in 1980, designed to clean up toxic waste sites. 

4. Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is released in 2006, winning the former Vice President an Oscar and Nobel Prize. Watch it here

5. The bald eagle is finally removed from the endangered species list in 2007. Read more here

In the video below, James Lawrence Powell, the former President of Reed College, and author of The Inquisition of Climate Science, answers the question "What did Grandpa do?" on Earth Day. 

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

More from the Big Idea for Monday, April 22 2013

Anthropocene

Has the impact of human behavior on the Earth's atmosphere created a new geological epoch? If so, we must shift gears radically, and that is what today's "Eco Warriors" -- people like Richard Bran... Read More…

 

5 Milestones of the Environ...

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