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

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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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Decimated Rainforest

December 7, 2009, 6:03 AM
Despite it being illegal to burn forests to clear land in Indonesia the practise is still widely maintained in Sumatra where what was once virgin forest is being decimated. “Environmental groups describe the degradation as rampant pillaging -- the work of multibillion dollar paper, pulp and palm oil conglomerates. Already 85 percent of Sumatra's forests are gone. What is left is vanishing at an alarming rate -- an area the size of 50 football fields disappears every hour, according to Greenpeace and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,” writes CNN. “The peat soil of the Kampar Peninsula holds more carbon than anywhere else in the world. Greenpeace estimates that if this whole peninsula, some 1.7 million acres (700,000 hectares), is taken over by plantations, the carbon dioxide released would be the equivalent of 1.6 billion transatlantic flights. In the middle of this complex struggle between preservation and destruction are the villagers.”

Decimated Rainforest

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