All of JoanMM's Comments + Replies

Good news on climate change

As it turns out, there is a near-linear relationship between cumulative emissions and global warming

Very interesting. Thanks!

What role would potential tipping points like permafrost loss play on the "near-linear relationship between cumulative emissions and global warming"?
As far as I understood, there was a lot of uncertainty on that.

I had a similar question. I've been reading some sources arguing for strong action on climate change recently, and they tend to emphasise tipping points. My understanding is that the probability of tipping points is also accounted for in the estimates of eq climate sensitivity, and is one of the bigger reasons why the 95% confidence interval is wide. It also seems like if ultimately the best guess relationship is linear, then the expectation is that tipping points aren't decisive (or that negative feedbacks are just as likely as positive feedbacks). Does that seem right?
Climate change questions for Johannes Ackva and John Halstead

Some of the reasons I heard are:
* it is difficult to understand that donating for technology innovation is really a donation, it feels more like investing in companies. 
* policy advocacy sounds like lobbying
* it is kind of abstract if one compares it to other donations more widely known like planting trees; or donating medicines, vaccines or books to improve the health of the poorest.
* the impact of the donation is uncertain and based on estimations only.
* such a donation does not give this inner glow/good feeling that they expect to get when making a donation

Climate change questions for Johannes Ackva and John Halstead

Thanks for the input, henrith.

This anecdotal evidence from Sweden that you mentioned is what I also noticed when talking to people interested in climate change, but not into the EA-movement.

Regarding Giving Green, there was a very interesting discussion in the forum.

It seems like the differentials between BURN and CATF are more than 10x and could be even 100x, if CATF eventually managed to have an impact of $0.20/ton. This does not seem unrealistic considering that the estimations of $1/ton are conservative.

The study I referenced about Eden Reforestation m... (read more)

Sorry, I was in a bit of a rush and should have looked at your link before giving too quick an answer – in that case I would have understood what you had already seen and considered. My bad!
Climate change questions for Johannes Ackva and John Halstead

I often get asked from people outside the EA community what is the best place to make a donation to fight climate change.
When I mention the options proposed by Founders Pledge (CATF, Carbon180), they are almost always put off and end up not donating at all. It seems to me like for them the concept of donating to policy advocacy or technology innovation is counterintuitive. Note that these people are usually not willing to invest hours reading about or listening to all the arguments that FP offers.

For those cases, I miss being able to confidently give an al... (read more)

Why do they find policy advocacy or technology innovation counterintuitive or off-putting?
Thanks for the good question, I hope they raise the topic at the event! It might not be completely satisfactory to what you're looking for, but from what I hear it seems like the work at [] seems to have exactly those people in mind by giving more recommendations than just policy. I have anecdotal evidence from Swedish donors being happier with BURN Manufacturing as an evidence backed climate intervention with positive effects on the local community, than an option more effective on a co2e/$ basis. One question we might still want to ask ourselves, if Clean Air Task Force are >10x as effective as the more accessible choice – would it perhaps be worth losing 9 in 10 potential donors and still have a larger effect? Personally I would imagine a second best option can have a gateway effect to be more receptible to evidence based giving, and make this a priority in future donations.
Climate change questions for Johannes Ackva and John Halstead

Advanced nuclear seems to be a technological solution where many pose a lot of hope. When is it estimated that it could be a mature enough to be implemented at large scale? 

Additionally to this: What is the best way to convince green and left political parties (EU view), that have in many cases started and championed anti-nuclear-sentiments, that they should drop their old convictions; and that this is not a betrayal of their ideology? Edit: And in another extension, their/the electorate that is also to a big part negatively impressed by it?
Climate change donation recommendations

I am also curious about how would an organization like Eden Reforestation Projects rank when also considering that they are giving jobs to extremely impoverished people, so even if it is not a direct transfer of money like GiveDirectly does, it might be comparable and some of the benefits could also apply.

Climate change donation recommendations

Great report, thanks!

Note that the links to are broken since they now belong to Charity Navigator. 

Here the articles you mentioned but retrieved from

+ Overview

+ Methodology


Also, I have a question regarding the following point:

"Once a forest is mature, it does not continue to absorb carbon. Instead, trees decay and grow in roughly equal measure, with the mass of the forest (and therefore the carbon sequestered) remaining roughly constant."

I've seen that statement often, but carbon is stored in the soil as well, isn'... (read more)

Introducing High Impact Athletes

What is your view on CoolEarth? It is not an advocacy charity but the cost per ton was in past reports similar to the advocacy ones (even if those are conservative estimates).

I liked the approach ' "how much more money does this crowd in?" compared to "how much does this crowd out from high impact options? " ', but in this case, the difference is not as big as with offsetting, so I am not sure what would be the outcome.

Also, is there any report or article where you explain in more details the revision of your view on CfRN?

I haven't looked into CoolEarth myself, but I think the standard view is that the analysis on the extreme cost effectiveness of this was faulty, based on very optimistic assumptions that are unlikely to be true (indirect protection of forests etc, I believe you could find posts on this searching the Forum) . We will discuss our findings on REDD in our upcoming report (Q1/21). I discuss it a bit here (last question):
Introducing High Impact Athletes

I understand what you mean. Carbon offsetting is something many people is already familiar with and also tangible (direct action).  Indirect actions like developing new technologies, including advanced nuclear, or lobbying to influence political solutions,  might be the most effective way, but it is less compelling to many people. 

I used to offset my carbon footprint as well until recently. It took some time for me to absorb the facts and act consequently. However, I still find the top charities currently recommended by Founders Pledge kind ... (read more)

Offsets are at least 15x worse than high impact charity on climate, I recently re-did the numbers on this and even on very conservative assumptions came out with the most effective work of CATF at something like 10 cents/t ( This is their best work and certainly they will not always be that cost effective so we can multiply it by 10 to get to USD1 but the best offsets are probably at USD 15 or so (the analysis on BURN by Giving Green mentions that they don't expect 1 offset to really express 1 t).

So whenever you include ... (read more)

Introducing High Impact Athletes

Very nice project!  I'm really looking forward to seeing which athletes take the pledge.
Congrats and best of luck! 

I have a small question: I was surprised to see Atmosfair listed as a recommended charity.
They definitely do a good job in the offsetting field, but they are 100x less effective than other charities included like Clean Air Task Force, Coalition for Rainforest Nations or even other unlisted charities like CoolEarth.

I'm curious to learn more about why you decided to include them anyway?

2Marcus Daniell1y
This is a fair point and one I'm not completely firm on myself. The main reason for including Atmosfair and Burn are because in my experience pro athletes (particularly tennis players who fly almost every week) are particularly aware of their carbon footprint. Carbon offsetting is a relatively easy sell for this audience. Dan Stein at Giving Green has done research on carbon offsetting's impact, and specifically efficient cook stoves. [] I recommend BURN, as well as Atmosfair's cookstove program on HIA. I'm curious, where do you get the 100x less effective figure from?
List of EA-related organisations

What about creating a list in GitHub? Does it make sense?
Anyone can suggest modifications there + it could be directly used as a source to create interactive tables...

I haven't used GitHub before - how intuitive is it for people without IT background? Else, maybe [] could be an option? I've often seen this used for wikis.
I'm not familiar with GitHub, but if anyone sees this and thinks it is worthwhile to convert this list onto GitHub then please do!