Hear This Idea—Mike on Nuclear Winter and ensuring mid to long term food security
I’m Michael Hinge, a Senior Economist at ALLFED (The Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters), an EA non profit where we spend our time thinking about food shocks and how we might be able to feed everyone, no matter the disaster. This ranges across the spectrum of immediate action (climate change triggering variable yields, locusts and other pests devastating crops) all the way up to longer term threats bordering on existential (nuclear winter, asteroids, supervolcanos).
As part of ALLFED’s work on preparing for a loss of sunlight, we are close to finalising and submitting a paper which outlines an integrated model looking at food availability in a severe nuclear winter. This looks at stocks being carried into the disaster, the range of potential resilient foods that could be produced and when they may arrive, the nutrition profile of the post catastrophe diets and the affordability of foods to the world’s poorest. The code will be published as open source alongside the paper, and can be expanded as new ideas for food production become available.
I recently recorded a podcast with Lucca Righetti and Finlay Moorhouse at the Future of Humanity Institute discussing all this and more, and please do check it out if you’re interested in food security, nuclear winter and our work in general. It was really interesting to talk with them both, they were great hosts, and food security seems to be typically less well known within the EA community compared to other risks and threats.
In addition, ALLFED has recently secured funding from the Survival and Flourishing Fund (SFF), and we are looking to expand the team, both for volunteers and full time paid researchers. Due to the nature of our work we require a huge range of skills and backgrounds, including but not limited to:
Engineers (of many types)
Economists and political scientists
Programmers/data scientists (GIS experience is gold dust)
Please check the jobs portal link out if you’re interested, and I hope you enjoy the podcast.