During the early nineteenth century whale oil was the preferred fuel for household illumination. A dwindling supply prompted innovations in the lighting industry, including the invention of gas and kerosene lamps and Edison's carbon-filament electric bulb.
Plentiful resources can be used in place of those that become scarce. Analysts speak of an Age of Substitutability and point, for example, to nanotubes, tiny cylinders of carbon whose molecular structure forms fibers a hundred times as strong as steel, at one sixth the weight. As technologies that use more-abundant resources substitute for those needing less-abundant ones -- for example, ceramics in place of tungsten, fiber optics in place of copper wire, aluminum cans in place of tin ones -- the demand for and the price of the less-abundant resources decline.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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.