A commercial research centre in the UK released a report in 1998 suggesting that changing climate patterns are causing more frequent and fierce natural disasters. One "reinsurance" firm compared the scale and cost of natural disasters in the 1960s with those of the late 1990s. The results show that natural catastrophes have tripled in number and are costing the industry fifteen times more than they did thirty years ago.
There has been far too much talk of the burdens associated with meeting climate change targets and far too little about the opportunities. Warmer homes, better transport and more efficient companies are some of the benefits of adjusting to climate change. There are also be new jobs and new opportunites for companies in the emerging environmental technology market.
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.