Have included a paragraph up at the top that hopefully adresses (some of?) your concerns. As it says in the paragraph, thanks for your comments!
“Edit: This argument applies across the political spectrum. One of the best arguments for political party participation is similar to voting i.e. getting a say in the handful of leading political figures. We recommend that effective altruists consider this as a reason to join the party they are politically sympathetic towards in expectation of voting in future leadership contests. We’re involved in the Labour Party—and Labour currently has a leadership election with only a week left to register to participate. So this post focuses on that as an example, and with a hope that if you’re Labour-sympathetic you consider registering to participate. We definitely do not suggest registering to participate if you’re not Labour-sympathetic. Don’t be a ‘hit and run entryist’ (Thanks Greg for the comments!).”
For the avoidance of any doubt: don’t be a “hit and run entryist”, this post is not suggesting such a “scheme”. If you’re “indifferent or hostile to Labour Party politics” then I don’t really know why you’d want to be part of the selection, and don’t recommend you try and join as a member.
The post says “You can always cancel your membership (though of course I’d rather you’d stay a member).” That’s not advocating joining just to cancel—it’s saying you’re not bound in if you change your mind.
Thanks for this. “Haydn Belfield published a report on global catastrophic risk (GCR) preparedness on CSER’s GCR policy blog.”—don’t want to claim credit.
Should be “CSER published a report on how governments can better understand global catastrophic risk (GCR).”
Oh Greg your words bounce like sunbeams and drip like honey
It would be real great if these were hyperlinks...
Would take some time, but might be useful for people gathering EA resources?
Naked Scientists (BBC radio show and podcast) have done a bunch of interviews with CSER researchers:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.