Ensure Sustainability

The world is facing an energy crisis. We can stick our heads in the sand, and wait for the looming dangers to wreak havoc on the global economy, or we can be proactive and build solutions to problems that will be here before we know it.

T. Boone Pickens is a vocal advocate for being proactive when it comes to energy policy and investments. In the latest installment of Big Think’s Edge, Pickens explains the current energy situation and how private industry and governments need to work towards greater sustainability.

His ideas for energy independence have inspired support from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. In 2008, Pickens, the chair of BP Capital Management and the author of The First Billion is the Hardest, launched a campaign presenting his solutions for reducing America’s dependence on oil. Called “The Pickens Plan,” it created discussion among candidates during the 2008 presidential election. And since then, he's only become more determined to ensure sustainability in the U.S.

“We’re stuck with oil and natural gas, I’d say, for at least twenty or thirty years,” he says. “Now where do you go to get away from fossil fuels?” Pickens explains his ideas in this week’s Edge. Watch a preview of his exclusive workshop on energy policy and sustainability solutions. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial to Edge to learn insights from Pickens and other thought leaders.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
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Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.

Vikings unwittingly made their swords stronger by trying to imbue them with spirits

They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.

Culture & Religion
  • Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
  • To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
  • They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
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Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
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