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Jeremy Cherfas

What We Owe The Future – A review by Tim Harford

Tim Harford's lukewarm review of William MacAskill's book.

If he is right, how could I justify giving £10 to a food bank today when I could set up a charitable trust, let the money accumulate centuries of compound interest before lavishing the proceeds on future generations? Are we morally obliged to live at subsistence levels to maximise the resources available for investment and research so our great-great-great-great-grandchildren will thrive? Such questions have been discussed and analysed at great depth in the literature on climate change. It is surprising to see them waved away with a few sentences here. 

Is it that surprising, really?