Lukas Trötzmüller

President of EA Austria | Co-Founder of EA Graz | Entrepreneur | Circling Facilitator

Interested in effective environmentalism with focus on climate change and air pollution.

Wiki Contributions


Defusing the mitigation obstruction argument against geoengineering and carbon dioxide removal

I like your post because it puts some more backstory behind an argument that many people usually accept for face value.

I don't quite understand this argument:

If we can geoengineer or capture enough to offset 60% of our emissions in 2030, and then in 2031 we reduce our emissions by 1% (as measured at the smokestack), then the environmental damage will not fall from 40% to 39.6%, it will fall to 39%. So it's still a one-percentage-point change whether or not we do geoengineering and carbon dioxide removal.

This assumes that geoengineering will cause effects equivalent to removing a certain amount of CO2 from the athmosphere. So each additional ton of CO2 still has the same effect. Is that a good model for the effects of geoengineering? I would naively assume that geoengineering could, by blocking sunlight through aerosols, reduce the impact that every ton of CO2 in the athmosphere has. If this is the case, then 39.6% would be accurate and the argument wouldn't work.

All Bay Area EA events will be postponed until further notice

The most interesting part of your post, to me, is your risk model [1]. I would be curious to hear some more feedback from other people on it.

I turned it into a Guesstimate, making some adjustments to some of the numbers and using population figures from Austria [2].



COVID-19 brief for friends and family

Thanks for the explanation on extreme individual precautions, that made things clearer.

I'm curious what you're thinking of when you say "adopt measures that can plausibly be sustained for one year or even longer"?

I'm thinking of simple, low-cost changes to habits and my living environment that reduce chances of infection with Coronavirus and other illnesses. For example: improving personal hygiene practices (how to handle laundry, when to desinfect hands, how to keep the kitchen super clean, desinfecting electronic devices), changing workout times (to hit the gym at times when it's empty), invite my friends to use hand sanitizer when eating together, going to smaller events instead of mass gatherings, keeping a 1-month food supply at home.

These would be easy to sustain for a year or even longer. On the other hand, "not leaving the house" or "cancel all events" incurs significant cost, so I would not be willing to do that for an entire year unless the risk was very high. (Of course, the risk might become "very high" if >10% of the population becomes infected).

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

You mention exponential spread, working from home, and avoiding travelling after March.

But what is the endgame here? How long do we need to stop travelling for? Should we apply these measures, as far as possible, starting in April and keep them up until a vaccine is available in 1-2 years? Will the number of cases level off eventually?

I assume there is no scientific consensus on these questions. If the virus is here to stay, then there might be little value in adopting extreme individual precautions for just one or two months. Afterwards, when you stop taking these extreme measures, there will be an even higher risk of infection. Under these circumstances, it seems better to adopt measures that can plausibly be sustained for one year or even longer.

Is fundraising through my hobbies an effective use of my time?

I would think hard about what the relevant resources are that you're trading off against each other. Are your hobbies important for your well-being and relaxation? Is it possible that by starting to monetize your hobbies, you might get less enjoyment out of them? Maybe it will also create some imbalance as you spend more time on them than you otherwise would? Or perhaps it's the opposite and monetizing your hobbies would actually increase the quality of your leisure time? Perhaps you can run a time-limited experiment to find out.

Also, as a full-time online entrepreneur my opinion is that neither blogging nor streaming are particularly good income streams unless you have reason to think you would be exceptionally good in either of these.

Also, have you read this?