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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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Climate Change Threatens Health & Security

October 19, 2011, 7:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

At a climate change conference recently held in London, health and security experts gathered to discuss what institutions can do to reroute our path toward an unpleasant future. As climate change continues to affect growing seasons, poor regions of the world will be put at higher risk for malnutrition. Starbucks recently said the world's coffee supplies will be put at risk by climate change in 20-30 years. Military experts at the conference said that foreign conflicts result in the burning of unsustainable amounts of fuel. 

What's the Big Idea?

Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is currently at 380 parts per million (ppm). In the millions of years before our industrial era, the concentration fluctuated between 180 ppm during the Ice Age to 280 during the interglacial period. Chris Rapley, professor of climate science at University College London, says that if carbon emissions are left unchecked, atmospheric concentration will reach 1,000 ppm by the end of the century. "You have to be a pretty huge optimist to think that won't bring major changes," he says. 


Climate Change Threatens He...

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