Halstead comments on New research on effective climate charities - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: BreeneMurphy 13 July 2018 11:38:04AM 3 points [-]

I'd suggest also evaluating Citizens' Climate Lobby.

They are working on introducing a revenue-neutral price on carbon, and in their modeling with REMI, the analysis concluded that, during the first 20 years alone, a CF&D policy would lead to:

• A 50% reduction of carbon emissions below 1990 levels • The addition of 2.8 million jobs above baseline, driven by the steady economic stimulus of the energy dividend • The avoidance of 230,000 premature deaths due to reduction in air pollutants that often accompany carbon emissions

The modeling summary is here: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/remi-report/

In terms of progress, in the US they have helped support the formation of the House Climate Solutions Caucus which has 84 members, 42 of which are Republican. Getting Republican support is a game changer. https://citizensclimatelobby.org/climate-solutions-caucus/

Also, they have done it with a volunteer-based approach, where they keep minimal staff in comparison to many other environmental organizations, so the cost-effectiveness is high.

A last bit, which I don't know that I can quantify, is about EA's rising interest in anti-authoritarianism. CCL's approach is strictly non-partisan, and as a result helps people create bonds across the ideological spectrum. Since authoritarian figures often arise in divided environments, the creation of unity helps mitigate that.

Comment author: Halstead 13 July 2018 01:39:45PM 2 points [-]

Hello we deprioritised carbon price advocacy in the US for the next few years because it looks very intractable at the moment. Might be worth looking at in the next few years if the political situation changes - but we'd be looking at substantial changes as preconditions - congress, senate and president all go democract

Comment author: BreeneMurphy 16 July 2018 11:40:31AM 3 points [-]

While a few years ago I would have understood, there has been a significant change on the Republican side. There are 43 Republican members of the House who have joined the Climate Solutions Caucus and are working on policy. Also, there's the Climate Leadership Council that is comprised of business leaders and fellow Republicans who are actively lobbying Republicans with success. I referenced the Climate Solutions Caucus above, so here's the Climate Leadership Council: https://www.clcouncil.org/

Comment author: Halstead 16 July 2018 02:55:23PM 3 points [-]

For future reference, in the interests of full disclosure I think it would be worth mentioning when you recommend a charity that you volunteer for it

Comment author: EmilyC 31 August 2018 08:15:41AM 0 points [-]

I've been volunteering for climate change for over a decade now, and after thoroughly researching the topic, have finally settled on Citizens' Climate Lobby as the best approach to solving the problem. Based on what I've seen, if we could get ~250 active volunteer constituents in at least 2/3rds of Congressional districts, we could pass Carbon Fee & Dividend. There is actually a majority in support now in each Congressional district (http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2018/) and each political party (http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Global-Warming-Policy-Politics-March-2018.pdf) for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. More than 2/3rds of Republicans are actually receptive (https://community.citizensclimatelobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/june-2017-meeting-analysis-1127.pdf), and that's despite the fact that the typical Republican district has just over ~50 active volunteers (though as many as 283 and as few as 2). We probably only need an additional 45k volunteers in targeted districts, and that's on the conservative side, as it could take even fewer.

Lobbying works (https://sociology.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/friends_or_foes-how_social_movement_allies_affect_the_passage_of_legislation_in_the_u._s._congress.pdf), and public opinion matters (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09644016.2016.1116651). The biggest barrier is probably that people tend to underestimate how popular these policies are (https://earth.stanford.edu/news/public-support-climate-policy-remains-strong) and that prevents them from taking action.

Comment author: BreeneMurphy 18 July 2018 12:51:48PM 0 points [-]

Will do. Sorry about that.

Interesting news on Republicans and climate change: https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060089315

Comment author: LHarrison 22 July 2018 03:48:54PM 0 points [-]

I think that a focus on partisan politics, and one that especially tries to narrow its scope to Republicans, suffers from lacking a firm framework of how this is supposed to create a specific outcome. One individual Republican representing a heavily Democratic district on the front lines of sea level rise discussing a carbon tax, with almost no real support from the rest of his caucus, is an aberration.

Across the board, Republican politicians oppose carbon taxes, the House took such a vote this week and the efforts by CCL to provide cover to the Republicans in the Climate Solutions Caucus who voted for a resolution opposing carbon taxes seems like the very definition of ineffective.

If there's a case for engagement in the political process around climate change, it's looking at the risks of climate change and determining the most effective strategies to adapt to them. For example, perhaps a certain degree of sea level rise is baked into the cake and an effective policy response is reducing exposure of properties to this risk. So coastal resiliency and flood insurance reform would make sense. However while some of the values of properties and communities involved in, say, significant flooding in Miami may be high, I don't know if it's that significant in any sort of global sense.

Comment author: EmilyC 31 August 2018 04:41:31PM 0 points [-]

It's not really narrowing its scope to Republicans. It's a non-partisan organization with a policy that has bipartisan support. It's just been especially important to talk about Republican support since Republicans have been largely denying climate change up until very recently.

A carbon tax is required to solve climate change (http://news.mit.edu/2016/carbon-tax-stop-using-fossil-fuels-0224) and only government has the power to levy a tax.