I was surprised not to see a reference to the main (only?) paper examining this question from an EA/‘longtermist’ perspective:
Natalie Jones, Mark O’Brien, Thomas Ryan. (2018). Representation of future generations in United Kingdom policy-making. Futures.
Which led directly to the creation of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations (an effort led by Natalie Jones and Tildy Stokes). The APPG is exploring precisely the questions you’ve raised. If you haven’t reached out yet, here’s the email: email@example.com
Really really good to see CEA engaging with and accepting criticism, and showing how it’s trying and is changing policies.
Similar but fewer, cos Seán is a better academic than me. I was aware of upper bound and vulnerable world.
These look super interesting! Looking forward to reading them.
What’s the status of these papers? Some of them look like they’re forthcoming, some don’t—is the plan for all of them to be published? I’d find it helpful to know which have been peer-reviewed and which haven’t.
Great stuff! Looking forward to more
Jaan has given to CSER
Similar to Ollie and Larks, I’m slightly uncomfortable with
“(i) Those who live at future times matter just as much, morally, as those who live today;”
I’m pretty longtermist (I work on existential risk) but I’m not sure whether I think that those who live at future times matter “just as much, morally”. I have some sympathy with the view that people nearer to us in space or time can matter more morally than those very distant—seperately from the question of how much we can do to effect those people.
I also don’t think its necessary for the definition. A less strong definition would work as well. Something like:
“(i) Those who live at future times matter morally”.
Hi John, thanks for the very detailed response. My claim was that ecosystem shift is a “contributor” to existential risk—my claim is that it should be examined to assess the extent to which it is a “risk factor” that increases other risks, one of a set of causes that may overwhelm societal resilience, and a mechanism by which other risks cause damage.
As I said in the first link, “humanity relies on ecosystems to provide ecosystem services, such as food, water, and energy. Sudden catastrophic ecosystem shifts could pose equally catastrophic consequences to human societies. Indeed environmental changes are associated with many historical cases of societal ‘collapses’; though the likelihood of occurrence of such events and the extent of their socioeconomic consequences remains uncertain.”
I can’t respond to your comment at the length it deserves, but we will be publishing papers on the potential link between ecosystem shifts and existential risk in the future, and I hope that they will address some of your points.
I’ll email you with some related stuff.
Thanks for the question. Climate change is a contributor to existential risk. Changing what business schools teach (specifically to include sustainability) might change the behaviour of the next generation of business leaders.
We also have further publications forthcoming on the link between climate change and existential risk.
Thanks for the question. Biodiversity loss and associated catastrophic ecosystem shifts are a contributor to existential risk. Partha’s review may influence UK and international policy.
We also have further publications forthcoming on the link between biodiversity and existential risk.
Does anyone have any idea when we’ll be able to embed YouTube videos on the forum?
Warren introduced the No First Use Act (“It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.”) and Gillibrand is a co-sponsor.