alexrjl

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Why I'm concerned about Giving Green

Other than the clarification in my other comment, I think the most important disagreement we have is about Sunrise, so I'm going to primarily talk about that.

Neglectedness


it’s true that TSM’s budget has grown massively over the last few years (as has CATF’s for that matter), but I think that’s a poor proxy for neglectedness. I think that there is very little effective climate activism happening out there, and there’s huge room for effective growth. 

TSM's budget growing by 1.5 orders of magnitude since 2015 isn't sufficient to show that they aren't neglected, but I think it is sufficient to show that donations data from 2015 should not be relied on to make the case for neglectedness, especially as arguably the most famous activist in the cause area also didn't start campaigning until 3 years later. 

The claim that "there's very little effective climate activism happening" is very different from the claim that climate activism in general is neglected, and I think may well be true, but that claim only applies to TSM if their activism is unusually effective compared to progressive activism more broadly (which is far from neglected), and I don't think you've shown that. To the extent that TSM has goals, which is somewhat limited, those goals seem to be very typical of progressive climate activism in general, which as discussed is extremely far from being neglected. Sunrise Seattle's open opposition to cap and trade is one recent example.

Sign of Impact

I would just say that [the impact may be negative] is lobbed at a lot of organizations, since people have different theories of political change.

Isn't the whole point of doing charity evaluation as opposed to just donating wherever you like that you can evaluate whether these sorts of claims are credible? I appreciate that you're time pressured and am grateful for the time you've already given but I was really hoping for more than just "other organisations have this lobbed at them too".

It doesn't really feel consistent to me to take the position when comparing [donate to TSM] and [donate to CATF] that "there's loads of uncertainty so we won't make the call", but then when comparing [Recommend TSM as they are +EV] to [Don't recommend TSM as they are -EV], take the position "sure there's loads of uncertainty but on balance the former is the best option". What's the difference I'm missing between the two cases?

Why I'm concerned about Giving Green

Thanks Dan,  I'm glad to see the comment and will have a more thorough look later. I wanted to clarify one thing though.


Alex is of the opinion that because we haven’t explicitly quantitatively modeled some of the tradeoffs we face, that the analysis isn’t to be trusted. (emphasis mine)

This  isn't quite right.  I don't agree with some of your analysis, but the reason I don't agree is not the lack of quant models, it's the things detailed above.

Separately, I do think we disagree on whether quantitative modelling is useful even in cases of very high uncertainty (I think it is). I also think that the act of trying to quantify models tends to improve analysis, and that making explicit models makes analysis much easier for others to critique, which is a good thing if our end goal is having correct analysis.

How much more important is work in USA over UK?

I'm somewhat glad you didn't, as I think your broader question is still a good one. Best of luck with your specific situation though!

How much more important is work in USA over UK?

I think that is fair, though as your situation is prety much exactly the unusual one I described I'd rather you asked someone with better knowledge, as in your case personal fit seems much less likely to dominate.

How much more important is work in USA over UK?

Moderately confident about the below; I know several people working in the UK civil service, and have some experience of the US->UK immigration process, but I don't work in government/policy myself. My prior in general is that people underestimate the importance of personal fit, as the majority of impact comes relatively late in a career, so leaving early has large costs. IIRC this view was expressed by Rob Wiblin, maybe on a guest appearance he had on another podcast which was x-posted to the 80k podcast, but I'm much less certain about that.


I would be somewhat surprised if the impact difference for doing a similar type of role in US/UK policy was a dominating factor compared to personal fit and probability of getting such a role, at least for most people. 

If you're young, single (or have a partner who works remotely), and have reason to think moving to a different country would not be particularly difficult or stressful for you, or if you live in neither country but want to move to one of them, then asking these questions seems prudent. If that's not the case, I would expect that your expected impact would be higher going for roles in the country where you currently live, once you control for thnigs like how long you'll be able to stay in the role, how likely you are to get the job, perform well, understand the culture etc.

Forecasts about EA organisations which are currently on Metaculus.

If you work for an EA-aligned organisation and would like some help developing questions like the above, for example in order to inform the plans/goals of the organisation, or to compare to internal forecasts, please get in touch with me!

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