The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released this month an alarming report on the state and trajectory of Earth's ecosystems. https://www.ipbes.net/
Has anyone evaluated this as a cause area, and it's indirect effects on global development, wild animal welfare, global conflicts and the long term trajectory of human development in an EA perspective?
I would especially be interested in discussions based on Open Philanthropy Project's framework of cause selection: Importance, Neglectedness and Tractability. But also more fundamental moral questions of how bad the deterioration of ecosystems is, and in what way they are bad. I feel that I lack a good understanding of what quantities or qualities I should think of when assessing the badness of ecosystem deterioration, and if this lack of understanding is common throughout our movement, this cause area might be more important than our current resource allocation towards it would imply.
I have wondered if species extinction should be treated as worse than simply the welfare/suffering of the last members of a species.
For example, I take it that most EAs would view the loss of the last 100 million humans as much worse than the 7.6 billion who might die before them in an existential catastrophe, particularly if the survivors still had a chance at re-building human civilizations. Likewise, if we lose a species, we lose any future value that was intrinsic to having that species in existence. And as most human value is likely to be in the far... (read more)