[Question] What are the “PlayPumps” of Climate Change?

In many Intro to EA talks or giving game workshops, the story of PlayPumps is often cited as an example of why people need to use evidence and data rather than their emotions when it comes to donating to charity. The story of PlayPumps is also the focus of the 1st chapter of Will MacAskill’s book Doing Good Better. PlayPumps is then often contrasted to GiveWell’s top charities, like the Against Malaria Foundation or GiveDirectly, which are very evidence-based and highly cost-effective. I and many others in EA Philippines have found the PlayPumps as a compelling example of why people need to be more rationale and evidence-based about their giving.

I would now like to know if there are climate change charities/​non-profits who are similar to the story of PlayPumps in one or more ways, such as by being net-negative or harmful, or by gaining a lot of press and funding but then getting bad publicity about their inability to make a large impact. Interventions that are widely popular but also quite neutral or very small in positive impact can be highlighted too.

Learning about these could be useful for those who want to help advocate for why people should donate to one or more of Founders Pledge’s recommended charities, such as the Clean Air Task Force, rather than popular but not-so-impactful (or even harmful) climate change interventions/​charities. For example, maybe climate change charities should be the default example rather than global health charities during intro to EA talks or giving game workshops, especially for longtermist community builders. You can read this post of mine for more thoughts on this (especially by reading the comment by Ben Todd).

Any thoughts or ideas would help—thanks!

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