Negligent disregard for the consequences of geoshpere modification Unconstrained modification of earth systems
Large-scale modifications to the earth's atmosphere, oceans and lithosphere have been proposed as solutions to various environmental problems or constraints. Even where apparently feasible and reasonable, such measures involve uncertainties and potential side-effects which could threaten the stability of entire regions of the planet.
A proposal to offset the warming effect due to greenhouse gases is to inject tons of sulphuric acid into the stratosphere to reflect radiant energy; others would create massive wetland areas of micro-algae to absorb excess carbon dioxide, or inject it deep into the oceans. Reconstruction of an entire river system was proposed in Russia to divert waters inland for irrigation rather than allow them to flow to the Arctic Ocean.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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