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WillPearson comments on Open Thread #38 - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: WillPearson 22 August 2017 10:04:51AM 2 points [-]

Drawdown a book on possible climate change solutions seems EA relevant. It is interesting that it only allows peer reviewed data/models in it and systematically surveys all the solutions they could find.

Comment author: Sanjay 24 August 2017 10:10:49PM 3 points [-]

I contacted the authors with some questions a few months back because their website included some apparently interesting info, but with inadequate explanation of how they had defined things, and it looked like the numbers didn't stack up (but I couldn't be sure because things weren't defined clearly enough)

They didn't reply.

Comment author: Halstead 24 August 2017 11:31:23PM 2 points [-]

i've also contacted them and they didn't reply. It's a bit unclear how they got to the rankings they did - there's not much explanation given.

Comment author: WillPearson 25 August 2017 12:35:53PM 1 point [-]

Thanks, good to know, but a bit dispiriting.

Comment author: arushigupta 29 August 2017 04:13:55PM 0 points [-]

I was also interested in this book - I've ordered a copy and I'm excited for it to arrive! The news that they haven't replied to questions about the data is disappointing but I think there is still value in the book. Particularly, on the "solutions" page on the site, they state: "The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies."

Considering some of the solutions that actively make lives better (such as educating girls, or more effective farming practices) as well as reduce emissions could be a good way for EA to approach climate change. Considering these combined benefits could help us assess the effectiveness of interventions on multiple scales, such as QALY's saved as well as emissions reduced. This could make global warming solutions more attractive across various branches of EA, since many of the solutions overlap with other cause areas, and considering the benefits to both causes might lead us to realize that some interventions are more effective than we previously thought.