I personally don’t think WAS is as similar to the most plausible far future dystopias, so I’ve been prioritizing it less even over just the past couple of years. I don’t expect far future dystopias to involve as much naturogenic (nature-caused) suffering, though of course it’s possible (e.g. if humans create large numbers of sentient beings in a simulation, but then let the simulation run on its own for a while, then the simulation could come to be viewed as naturogenic-ish and those attitudes could become more relevant).
I think if one wants something very neglected, digital sentience advocacy is basically across-the-board better than WAS advocacy.
That being said, I’m highly uncertain here and these reasons aren’t overwhelming (e.g. WAS advocacy pushes on more than just the “care about naturogenic suffering” lever), so I think WAS advocacy is still, in Gregory’s words, an important part of the ‘far future portfolio.’ And often one can work on it while working on other things, e.g. I think Animal Charity Evaluators’ WAS content (e.g. ]guest blog post by Oscar Horta](https://animalcharityevaluators.org/blog/why-the-situation-of-animals-in-the-wild-should-concern-us/)) has helped them be more well-rounded as an organization, and didn’t directly trade off with their farmed animal content.
But humanity/AI is likely to expand to other planets. Won’t those planets need to have complex ecosystems that could involve a lot of suffering? Or do you think it will all be done with some fancy tech that’ll be too different from today’s wildlife for it to be relevant? It’s true that those ecosystems would (mostly?) be non-naturogenic but I’m not that sure that people would care about them, it’d still be animals/diseases/hunger.etc. hurting animals. Maybe it’d be easier to engineer an ecosystem without predation and diseases but that is a non-trivial assumption and suffering could then arise in other ways.
Also, some humans want to spread life to other planets for its own sake and relatively few people need to want that to cause a lot of suffering if no one works on preventing it.
This could be less relevant if you think that most of the expected value comes from simulations that won’t involve ecosystems.
Yes, terraforming is a big way in which close-to-WAS scenarios could arise. I do think it’s smaller in expectation than digital environments that develop on their own and thus are close-to-WAS.
I don’t think terraforming would be done very differently than today’s wildlife, e.g. done without predation and diseases.
Ultimately I still think the digital, not-close-to-WAS scenarios seem much larger in expectation.