New research on effective climate charities

Founders Pledge has recently completed a large report on climate change, which recommends two new cost-effective climate change charities - the Clean Air Task Force and Coalition for Rainforest Nations . This is on our research page here  (which also has a report on mental health and will be supplemented... Read More

The counterfactual impact of agents acting in concert

Summary : Consider some project worked on by multiple organisations A, B, C and D. The benefit of the project is x . Each of the organisations is a necessary condition of the benefit x. The counterfactual impact of A is x ; the counterfactual impact of B is x... Read More

Climate change, geoengineering, and existential risk

A paper I have written on a form of geoengineering known as 'stratospheric aerosol injection' has recently been published in Futures. The paper explores whether, assuming that reducing existential risk is overwhelmingly important, stratospheric aerosol injection should be researched. The following aspects are likely to be of some interests to... Read More

Economics, prioritisation, and pro-rich bias  

  tl;dr: Welfare economics is highly relevant to effective altruism, but tends to rely on a flawed conception of social welfare, which holds that the more someone is willing to pay for a good, the more utility or welfare they would get from consuming that good. (I use ‘welfare’ and... Read More

We're hiring! Founders Pledge is seeking a new researcher

  In brief: We're hiring a researcher with quantitative skills. Initial salary is £30k, but negotiable upwards for exceptional candidates. You will mainly work on longer reports and shorter briefs on effective donation opportunities for our pledgers.    *** Founders Pledge is a global community of founders and investors who... Read More

Capitalism and Selfishness

[From my blog ]. As effective altruists make increasing forays into politics, I thought it would be good to share what I have found to be one of the most useful conceptual distinctions in recent political philosophy. Many people think if you’re in favour of capitalism you have to be... Read More

How should we assess very uncertain and non-testable stuff?

There is a good and widely accepted approach to assessing testable projects - roughly what GiveWell does.  It is much less clear how EA research organisations should assess projects, interventions and organisations with very uncertain non-testable impact, such as policy work or academic research. There are some disparate materials on... Read More

Where should anti-paternalists donate?

GiveDirectly gives out unconditional cash transfers to some of the poorest people in the world. It’s clearly an outstanding organisation that is exceptionally data driven and transparent. However, according to GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness estimates (which represent a weighted average of the diverse views of GiveWell staffers), it is significantly less cost-effective... Read More

The asymmetry and the far future

TL;DR: One way to justify support for causes which mainly promise near-term but not far future benefits, such as global development and animal welfare, is the ‘intuition of neutrality’: adding possible future people with positive welfare does not add value to the world. Most people who endorse claims like this... Read More