JamesOz

Director & Strategy lead at Animal Rebellion - using social movements for effective work on animal welfare and climate change.

Wiki Contributions

Comments

AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy

Thanks Ula, I hadn't read that and it has been super insightful. Seems like I'm back to being much more pessimistic about the scale up of cultivated meat now... 

Economic policy in poor countries

I'm surprised (as it seems you are) that it has been two years since yours and Hauke's original post and there hasn't been any movement on this issue. Do you have any ideas on why this might be the case?

Seems like a potentially worrying pitfall of the EA Forum (or EA community?) if new-ish ideas are posted, solid cases are made that people agree with but nothing changes.

AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy

Reposting this comment here as you said you were interested but won't get a notification from my other comment: 

Coming back to this as I just asked Bruce Friedrich (Director of GFI) a question about this in a presentation he was giving:

He said that GFI doesn't agree with this report and thinks it is less credible than the techno-economic analysis supported by GFI because:

  • This report didn't work with any companies under NDA whereas GFI's own analysis had 11 (I believe)
  • This report also didn't work with any national scientific agencies where GFI worked with that of Singapore.

Generally he (and the scientists at GFI) seem much more optimistic that cultivated meat can reach price parity with the cheapest animal products and he said if they didn't think they would, they would focus less on cultivated meat. So that's a slightly more positive update in the cultivated direction for me and thought it might be interesting for people who are also concerned about this. 

AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy

Coming back to this as I just asked Bruce Friedrich (Director of GFI) a question about this in a presentation he was giving:

He said that GFI doesn't agree with this report and thinks it is less credible than the techno-economic analysis supported by GFI because:

  • This report didn't work with any companies under NDA whereas GFI's analysis had 11 (I believe)
  • This report also didn't work with any national scientific agencies where GFI worked with that of Singapore. 

Generally he (and the scientists at GFI) seem much more optimistic that cultivated meat can reach price parity with the cheapest animal products and he said if they didn't think they would, they would focus less on cultivated meat. So that's a slightly more positive update in the cultivated direction for me and thought it might be interesting for people who are also concerned about this. 

Betting on the best case: higher end warming is underrepresented in research

Thanks for that paper Johannes, it was mildly reassuring to read.

Liu and Raftery (2021) show that countries must increase their decarbonization rates by 80% relative to Paris commitments to limit warming to 2°C by 2100. Similarly, if the pace of global decarbonization fails to keep up with IEA’s (2020) STEPS projections (decarbonization has exceeded IEA projections in recent years; see IEA 2019, 2020), we find that several scenarios having greater than 3°C warming by 2100 become plausible (Fig. S4B).

One thing I was struck by is this section in the discussion (bold emphasis mine) is that an 80% increase in decarbonisation rates relative to Paris commitments seems quite large and slightly ironically, not very plausible. Is there any evidence that countries are making or planning to make such a radical step up in their decarbonisation, as it seems like their policies don't even reflect this? 

Vox's Future Perfect is hiring

Looks really interesting Kelsey, thank you for sharing! I've got 2 minor questions about details that weren't clear to me in the job ad:

  1. What's the deadline for the application?
  2. Are you open to remote work or is this for US applicants only?
Key Lessons From Social Movement History

Thanks Jamie, this is super super interesting and have shared with our strategy team at Animal Rebellion. Feels validating as we're doing some of the above points you've mentioned (institutional tactics vs individual change, diversifying beyond corporate campaigns, pressure tactics etc.) but there's a couple here I'm more curious about:

 

EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES TO BYPASS PUBLIC OPINION

For this recommendation (and focusing less on increasing issue salience to a degree), I worry that not doing so will help us win the technical challenges early on but then will leave us struggling down the line when it comes to the larger "morality"-related steps later on, such as banning factory farming completely. Do you think we'll be able to make those larger steps without widespread public support or do you believe we should focus on increasing public support at a later date, perhaps when we've already had more wins or figured out a great issue framing?

Also whilst it's not clear to me how easy it is to change public opinion, I've been doing some research on Extinction Rebellion (see one graph below) that they've been able to significantly alter public opinion for about £500,000, which seems well worth it. For reference, Extinction Rebellion start in mid 2018 so the gradual increase before then I believe could be attributed to them too.

 

Media coverage can encourage institutional change.

We do this quite effectively in my opinion (150+ media mentions for one action) however it seems to against your recommendation of focusing less on increasing issue salience. How would you reconcile these things? And when you refer to media, are you referring to certain forms of media publications or those aimed at certain audience? An example, is it best to try get into mainstream TV, LadBible or newspapers aimed at conservatives? 

Selecting and encouraging the most compelling issue framings in public discourse can have substantial effects on public opinion.

Whilst we definitely try to do this, it's extremely hard to know which issue framing or messaging performs best as there hasn't been much substantive work on issue farming for animal advocacy to my knowledge (very worth funding imo). Also, it seems ideal if the animal movement could collaborate on a shared issue framing as it seems that's when movements are most effective at changing public discourse, when a shared message is used from different angles and institutions.

What are some examples of successful social change?

Otpor! - A group in Serbia who overthrew their dictator, Sloban Milosevic, in 2000 using mass nonviolent civil disobedience.

Indian Independence from British colonisation.

OutRage! - LGBT campaign group who used protests to win marriage equality for homosexual couples in the UK (and generally change opinion on gay rights)

ACT UP - Another civil disobedience group in the US who used nonviolent protests to get better access to AIDS treatment for gay people.

Civil Rights Movement in the US that won equal voting rights and desegregation (amongst other things) for black people.

Some of these might be smaller than the intended scale of EA but all planned quite meticulously with much more attention to detail than most people give them credit for! Having researched some of the above quite extensively, usually years of preparation and trial and error took place beforehand.

Do we need to keep increasing energy consumption?

Quick reply from me too - You're right, doubling isn't so dramatic so I'll amend that sentence. What I really meant to say was that we have to scale up our low-carbon energy production from roughly 17,500 TWh in 2020 to 308,000TWh in 2100, an increase of almost 17x, which seems more dramatic to me! Will reply to the following later.

Climate change questions for Johannes Ackva and John Halstead

Great - thanks for clarifying (and for the great talk)! For what it's worth, I definitely agree that whilst climate might not be neglected, the urgency, scale and tractability (in some cases) of the issue makes it a reasonable problem to work on. I asked the question above because I thought you specifically said that you didn't agree with people who said climate wasn't neglected and I assumed you meant you thought that climate was neglected in some sense.

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