Part 4: Longtermism
In the first and second sequences, we discussed ways to quantify the impact of altruistic interventions. However, most cost-effectiveness analyses only take into account the short-term effects of an intervention, rather than long-term effects. Because the latter are often much more impactful, some people see this as a major issue.
In these posts, we explore a different approach to finding high-impact interventions: "longtermism", or the search for ways to improve the long-run trajectory of human civilization.
Organization Spotlight: APPG
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Future Generations is a UK parliamentary group working to create cross-party dialogue on combating short-termism and identifying ways to incorporate concern for future generations into British policymaking.
They believe that political short-termism can cause issues with major long-term consequences — like climate change, public health trends, and global catastrophic risks (GCRs) — to be neglected in governmental discussion.
To combat this tendency, they conduct research to inform parliamentarians about GCRs and longtermist thinking, and host events to encourage collaboration between policymakers, academics, and the private sector.
Photo credit: Kristopher Roller