Context on the post
Hey EAs, I'm Brian, co-founder of EA Philippines.
We're growing the number of people interested with and engaged in EA locally through various activities (i.e. an introductory fellowship), and some of them have shown interest in longtermism. I think it's only a matter of time until one or more of them ask us on whether we think it's better for them to donate to Founders Pledge's recommended climate change charities vs. GiveWell's top charities, and I'm not sure what to tell them. I could just point them to resources and have them make their own conclusions, but I would like to know what people here think the true answer is.
Will MacAskill's positive view on climate change interventions
Will MacAskill has said in previous talks (like this one) that he thinks mitigating climate change is a promising way to influence the long-run future, and Rob Wiblin also talked about why "funding anything to do with clean energy seems robustly good" in this Facebook post of his. I know that donations to other opportunities could be more effective from a longtermist point of view (i.e. donations to meta/longtermist/AI/biorisk orgs), but I can imagine that quite a few EAs globally who are interested in longtermism will be interested in donating to Founders Pledge's Climate Fund and/or one of their recommended climate charities (Clean Air Task Force, Carbon180, and TerraPraxis). These EAs may then wonder how these stack up against GiveWell's charities as an example.
The verdict still seems to be unclear?
This Forum post by Hauke Hillebrandt concludes that global development interventions are generally more effective than climate change interventions, but there's substantial disagreement in the comments section, so the verdict on this is still unclear. And Johannes Ackva said that Founders Pledge doesn't have any updates to share currently about comparing climate change vs. global health/development interventions. So I would like to ask the EA community instead for your thoughts on these two questions:
- If someone identifies as a longtermist, should they donate to Founders Pledge's top climate charities than to GiveWell's top charities?
- Whether or not someone is a longtermist, how should someone decide whether to donate to FP's top climate charities than to GiveWell's top charities?
This post is not for my own donation choice, since I am more interested in donating to other types of EA/EA-aligned charities than climate change or GiveWell recommended charities, but I want to have more informed and nuanced thoughts on this matter. I'm also interested to hear if anyone has good arguments as to why donating to GiveWell's top charities is good from a longtermist perspective too. If you think I should also just wait 1-2 years until someone at Founders Pledge or in the EA community investigates this further, then that's a valid response too. Thanks!