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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Crazy Idea: Carbon Polluters Should Pay You to Fix Climate Change

July 16, 2013, 2:34 PM
Carbon-tax-reduces-profit

Americans mostly now believe the climate is changing.  They believe that humans are causing it and they believe that it is a risk.  But in surveys American are not willing to pay higher energy prices to tackle the problem. 

So what if we turn that on its head?  Imagine that you go to your mailbox in the morning and there’s a check that says, “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  Here is your check for hundreds of dollars.  This represents the amount that polluters are paying you this year or this quarter for the carbon dioxide they’re pumping into the atmosphere.”

Is that crazy?  How does that work? 

What we want to do is put a price on greenhouse gases.  Because if they’re more expensive, businesses will find a way to be more efficient or switch to solar or hydro or wind power.  So that will reduce emissions.  But then what do we do with that money?  If we put a price on carbon dioxide that is going to affect you because if your power company uses coal or when you go fill up your car – those things have greenhouse gases.  So your price at the pump is going to go up.  Your utility bill is going to go up.  But if all of that money collected by that tax goes back to you, then you have the money in your pocket to pay for those raised prices.  Moreover, in this case a more fuel efficient car is a better deal. Better insulation for your house is a better deal.  In this scenario, solar hasn’t seen its price rise while coal has.  

So now you’re going to switch. Businesses are going to switch.  Industries are going to switch to more efficient and lower carbon sources of energy.  And so what this ends up looking like is carbon polluters are paying you to fix climate change. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Crazy Idea: Carbon Polluter...

Newsletter: Share: