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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: Who is responsible for the environment?

Jim Moriarty: I think we are all responsible for the environment in all of our various roles. So I’m a dad. I’m responsible for the environment with my children, educating them, having them understand this is a dolphin, this is a starfish, these are coastal issues, this is pollution, this is what you should do about it, etc., but I’m also responsible in my professional life, whatever that is, to get engaged, etc., and I’m also responsible for holding my government to task for their environmental regulations and procedures, etc. It’s not enough and it’s unacceptable for us to just say, “Oh, that’s their issue. Oh, the state’ll take care of that. Oh, my county government, that’s their problem.” That’s lame and this essentially just takes you back and in a way it just takes you out of the picture. If you want to be in the picture, if you want to have a voice, take the voice and act and stop complaining. I believe that individuals can change the world. In fact, I believe that individuals do change the world every single day. I believe that every one of our individual choices collectively moves the network. It shifts value, it shifts culture, and so in that sense individuals, the ones that are buying Pepsi products or Coke products or whatever our consuming habits are, the ones that are spending this much on electricity because they didn’t buy double-pane windows, etc., all of our habits shift society. So absolutely I believe that the individual has that power.

Recorded on: 9/27/07




Who is responsible for the ...

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