What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Climate Change Will Cause Mass Human Displacement. How Can We Prepare?

July 26, 2014, 2:33 PM

What's the Latest?

No matter what you believe (or choose not to believe) about climate change, it is impossible to deny that shifts in global weather patterns present an imminent threat to millions of people worldwide in countries such as Bangladesh, Panama, and the Marshall Islands. With the number of displaced people at its highest since World War II, the world is hardly prepared for what the UN estimates to be a humanitarian crisis to dwarf all current and past crises. The international community can't afford to wait until rising water levels and volatile storms send millions of refugees to the world's doorsteps. Preparations need to be made now.

What's the Big Idea?

Scott Leckie of Business Spectator has authored an article rife with suggestions for how to prepare for the imminent rise of the climate displaced. His most notable proposal is a preparation for mass migration:

"National and international land acquisition, planned and voluntary relocation, creating new national agencies and expanding political will, if implemented properly, can greatly reduce both the scale and suffering associated with this new form of coerced movement."

Leckie begins by estimating how much land would be needed to harbor and/or resettle 250 million displaced people (cumulatively about the size of Uganda). The world has no shortage of land and Leckie argues for making arrangements now to prepare for future inhabitants:

Setting aside land now for those requiring new land following the loss of their current land makes good sense, both in economic and human rights terms.

The issue of course is in getting a world's worth of disparate governments on the same page in order to tackle this issue head-on. Who will agree to take in the climate displaced ahead of time? How will political backlash against climate change affect preparations for its perils? Leckie's proposal is both noble and ambitious, which simultaneously makes it something of a pipe dream.

Read more at Business Spectator

Photo credit: Sangoiri / Shutterstock


Climate Change Will Cause M...

Newsletter: Share: