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Ben_West comments on How you can save expected lives for $0.20-$400 each and reduce X risk - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Ben_West  (EA Profile) 21 December 2017 10:54:17PM 1 point [-]

Thanks for writing this! This is a very interesting idea.

Do you have thoughts on "learning" goals for the next year? E.g. is it possible that you could find a certain valuable food source with significantly more or less effort expected? Or could you learn of a non-EA funding source (e.g. government grants) that would make you significantly more impactful? I'm mostly interested in your $10,000 order of magnitude, if that's relevant.

Also: do you think that your research could negatively impact animal welfare in the event that a global catastrophe does not occur? E.g. could you recommend a change to fishing practices which are implemented prior to a catastrophe which increases the number of farmed fish or changes their quality of life?

Comment author: Denkenberger 30 December 2017 01:07:02AM 0 points [-]

Thanks! Yes, it is possible we will find new food sources. Some that I have not yet been able to analyze include bacteria that eat plastic, bacteria that run on electricity, and direct chemical synthesis of food. We are actively pursuing non-EA grants and foundations. Generally we would not be recommending changing the way things are done today very much, because that can get into the billions of dollars of cost. So I doubt we would negatively impact animal welfare if the catastrophe did not occur.