In the sense that matters most for effective altruism, climate change refers to large-scale shifts in weather patterns that result from emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane largely from fossil fuel consumption. Climate change has the potential to result in—and to some extent is already resulting in—increased natural disasters, increased water and food insecurity, and widespread species extinction and habitat loss.
In The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, Toby Ord offers several policy and research recommendations for handling risks from climate change:
Ackva, Johannes & John Halstead (2020) Climate change executive summary, Founders Pledge, October 6.
Duda, Roman & Arden Koehler (2016) Climate change (extreme risks), 80,000 Hours, April (updated May 2020).
Halstead, John (2018) Climate change and existential risk, John Halstead’s Blog, October 17.
Wiblin, Robert (2021) Kelly Wanser on whether to deliberately intervene in the climate, 80,000 Hours, March 26.
Wiblin, Robert & Arden Koehler (2020) Mark Lynas on climate change, societal collapse & nuclear energy, 80,000 Hours, August 20.
80,000 Hours (2021) Our current list of the most important world problems, 80,000 Hours.
Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 279