How much donations are needed to neutralise the annual x-risk footprint of the mean human?
Thanks to Ezra Newman.
I calculated the annual x-risk footprint of the mean human from the ratio between:
The population size in 2021 of 7.87 billion, which I took from Our World in Data.
Then I determined the donations required to neutralise the footprint by dividing it by the (expected marginal) cost-effectiveness of LTFF, which I assumed equal to the 0.0217 % per billion USD estimated here.
Results and discussion
The annual x-risk footprint of the mean human is 0.231 in 1 trillion, and can be neutralised via donating 1.07 $ to the LTFF. The calculations are in this Sheet.
The results are not resilient. For example, x-risk arguably varies across time, and it is unclear what is the cost-effectiveness of donating to the LTFF. However, I think the results are not off by more than 2 orders of magnitude. On the other hand, the x-risk footprint of the median human may be many orders of magnitude smaller than that of the mean human.
In any case, effective donations and other actions are:
Better seen as a great way of increasing impact. Thinking about them as a form of offsetting could limit our ambition and lead to a smaller impact.
Often complementary instead of mutually exclusive.
Note both the total x-risk and total anthropogenic x-risk were estimated to be 1⁄6 (see Table 6.1).
The cost-effectiveness I estimated amounts to 70 % (= 0.0217/0.0316) of the geometric mean of the lower and upper cost-effectiveness bars proposed for the Basis Fund (0.01 % and 0.1 % per billion USD).