Fossil fuels are the major energy source that power the industrial world. Yet, fossil fuel use is responsible for much environmental degradation. In particular, carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming. In order to manage climate change, a de-carbonized economy must be planned now or soon (this step will need to be taken anyway because of the finite supplies of fossil fuels). Because of our heavy reliance on fossil fuels, the transition to a non-fossil fuel based economy must be planned extensively in order to minimize economic disruptions.
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.