How Can Snowball Blessing Help?

By Corey Matsumoto [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

10 days ago I wrote an article called “Snowball Blessing Structure“, outlining the different ways I were to drive positive change through sustainable energy, namely:

  • Active Investing (Startup Investments and Hands-On Involvement)
  • Passive Investing (Public Equity / Bonds Investments)
  • Donations (Advocacy and Effective Altruism)

3 questions naturally emerge as a result:

So onto the 1st question. Should climate change be the only pursuit of Snowball Blessing in the quest to improve “the probability of human species’ survival” by creating a more sustainable environment “before we become a multi-planetary species“?

The answer is a clear no. There’s absolutely more to climate change in creating a more sustainable environment.

I’ve cross-referenced the United Nations, inter-continental organizations and private organizations (references below) in identifying what are the main causes that we should keep note of in the quest to create a more sustainable environment, and the causes that were brought up include:

  • Water
  • Land, Water and Food Production
  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity (eg. Forests)
  • Energy
  • Financing Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Climate Change
  • Waste
  • Consumption
  • Science of Public Health Issues

These causes can be further consolidated into:

  • Sustainable Production
    • Land, Water, Food, Energy
  • Sustainable Consumption
    • Consumption, Waste, Science of Public Health Issues
  • Sustainable Environment
    • Climate Change, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

I think for now, all of the aforementioned causes are important and should be addressed for if within the capabilities of private organizations like Snowball Blessing to effectively drive change.

The only cause that was left out was “Financing Environment and Sustainable Development”, but it’s safe to say that the establishment of Snowball Blessing is to finance such development over the various causes mentioned above.

Which leads to the 2nd question. How to prioritize funding / efforts over the different causes that help create a more sustainable environment?

The first issue to solve is to identify causes that are within the capabilities of Snowball Blessing to effectively drive change in, before we move onto the issue of how to prioritize funding / effort over the different causes.

Out of Sustainable Production, Consumption and Environment, the causes that Snowball Blessing can effectively drive change in would be:

  • Sustainable Production
    • Land, Water, Food, Energy
  • Sustainable Consumption
    • Consumption, Waste, Science of Public Health Issues
  • Sustainable Environment
    • Climate Change, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

 

The effective changes that Snowball Blessing can drive will namely be in investments (companies that create more sustainable energy alternatives and that incentivizes people to consume and waste less) and donations (non-profits that drive sustainable food and plant trees).

As for Land, Water and Science of Public Health Issues, the only things that I can see Snowball Blessing really do for now is Advocacy (policy rights and public awareness), but as these things are notorious for being resistant to change and hard to quantitatively measure effectiveness, Snowball Blessing will spend less funding / efforts in focusing on these.

And as for how to prioritize funding / effort over the causes highlighted in red above, I will adopt a know nothing mentality akin to Index Investing and just equal weight funding / effort over all the above causes. This is because since the environment is a complex adaptive system, it’s hard to measure with precision which causes are more important than others by what specific % in its effect of making the environment more sustainable.

But before I go ahead and equal weight my funding / effort, I would take out “Climate Change” from the list of causes to support since “Food”, “Energy”, “Consumption”, “Waste” and “Ecosystems and Biodiversity” all tackle the issue of Climate Change. I will also consolidate “Consumption” and “Waste” together since they are akin to each other.

So with all of this in mind, Snowball Blessing will equal weight 25% funding / effort towards:

  • Food – 25%
  • Energy – 25%
  • Consumption and Waste – 25%
  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity – 25%

Now that that’s clear, let’s move onto question 3. How much funding / efforts should I gradually invest into Snowball Blessing.

Of the 3 ways I will drive change through Snowball Blessing, Passive Investing and Donations remain the hardest questions to answer in terms of how much of my personal funding / efforts should I gradually invest in.

This is because for Active Investing, I am required by law to be an accredited investor (1+ million USD) to partake and required by my employment contract to not get involved hands-on with other companies without permission of my employer. On both regards, I am ineligible as I don’t possess the wealth nor the interest to leave my employer yet.

For Passive Investing and Donations, the question becomes how to balance funding / efforts needs with current lifestyle needs and prospective future returns.

But I think I do have answer for that, and that’s following Peter Singer’s formula in “The Life You Can Save“, which at most only suggests people to donate 14.3% of their income to combating extreme poverty (and that’s for people with 1+ million USD income!!).

That’s absolutely reasonable for someone like me, even if it were to be a double punch in terms of funding (for every % that Peter Singer’s formula suggests I donate to extreme poverty, I will also fund the same % for Snowball Blessing).

So in the words of the Hunger Games, “Let the Games Begin!”

[References]

 

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