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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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Question: What is the biggest hurdle facing the environmental movement?

Jim Moriarty: If you look at the American consumer of which that’s-- If you would call me anything, that would probably the- be the label that would be accurate and the most hurtful for me personally but that’s- I am a consumer but the American consumer needs to shift its tastes. We can’t buy with such disregard for the long-term impact of our decisions. We just can’t over time. The reason that we have been able to do it is because we were- in the entire world we consumed about 40% of the natural resources and that was okay because we were just the big consumers of the world. Well guess what. China’s coming online. They have the same aspirations we do. So is India. The math just doesn’t work. Things have to change. There isn’t an option. It’s the question of how fast and how radical they will be because the math-- There is not enough resources on earth to satisfy China, India and the United States at our consuming levels. It just doesn’t work and that leaves out the African continent, Europe and everything else, so there’s obviously- there’s more variables in that equation.

Recorded on: 9/27/07






What is the biggest hurdle ...

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