Uncertainty over long-term health effects of radioactive fallout
Panic as a result of nuclear accidents Fear of a nuclear winter
In addition to the possible physical danger from radioactive fallout, millions of people have been exposed to a lifelong psychological immersion of death: permanent fear of invisible contamination. Radiation cannot be detected by senses and might strike at any time. Radiation disasters have an added aura of dread associated with limitless danger, hypothesis of nuclear winter and images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People exposed to radiation have felt to have been exposed to lethal impairment that, if it did not manifest itself in one generation might well make itself felt in the next ones. Nuclear disasters create terrifying rumours about the after effects.
Chernobyl disaster raised the level of fear and increased the belief that nuclear power casts an evil spell over the world. Quarter of the British public started to oppose the use of nuclear power to provide electricity. The danger of Chernobyl is unclear and will remain unknown for years: estimations of radiation induced cancer deaths in former Soviet Union and Europe varies between 1,000 and 500,000.
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.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.