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World's Richest Man, Jeff Bezos, Pledges RM42 Billion To Fight Climate Change

But is that enough?


  • Monday, 24 February 2020
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World's Richest Man, Jeff Bezos, Pledges RM42 Billion To Fight Climate Change

One of the richest men in the world


Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, The Washington Post, an aerospace company that is developing a rocket for commercial use called Blue Origin and probably a slew of others that we don't know about, has started the Bezos Earth Fund.⁣⁣⁣

One of the wealthiest persons in the world, Bezos has pledged USD10 billion (RM42 billion) a.k.a more money than a thousand people put together will see in their lifetimes to combat climate change. 

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.

"This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. We can save Earth.

"It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals," he posted on his Instagram. 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share. This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ - Jeff

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos) on

Less than 10 per cent of his wealth

While it's commendable that Bezos is using about 7.6 per cent of his current worth of US$131.1 billion (RM554.8-ish billion) to advance the fight against climate change, there's still the question of how much of the money will go towards making his businesses and personal lifestyle more sustainable. 

According to Mic, Amazon's fast-shipping model has created a huge carbon footprint which, as we know, is a contributor to climate change. 

In 2017, Amazon produced 19 million metric tons of carbon - about the equivalent of five coal power plants, according to the website. 


Amazon produces crazy amount of carbon and that's worrying

Besides the carbon footprint, the demand for consumer items also contributes to more waste, including plastic waste. Have you ever noticed how much packaging goes into the things that you purchase online, so it reaches you in the best condition possible?

To be fair, Amazon has said that it will look into the matter and come up with plans to mitigate the issue, but we'd love to know how it will manage it. 

Amazon has a very large carbon footprint

However, there's also Amazon Web Services, where the company deals with cloud computing, an industry that produces a lot of carbon. 

According to a Greenpeace report, despite Amazon's very public pledge to power it's data with 100 per cent renewable energy, the company has failed to do so. 

Data from cloud computing aren't stored in actual clouds

The report indicated that only 12 per cent of the energy used by Amazon was renewable, a far lower number than it had promised. 

It further showed that the rapid development of Amazon Web Services had caused an increase of 60 per cent use of electricity in the past two years alone, and the energy used by the company's data centre could power 1.4 million households in America. 

That's just two of Bezos's businesses. 

According to this Business Insider report, Bezos is the 28th largest homeowner in the United States. 

He is said to own five massive homes - and by massive we mean 29,000-square-foot-estate-massive. Of course, not all his properties are that big, but one of them is, and the others come quite close.
 
Huge homes require a lot of resources to run
He also owns other properties that are not his homes. 

Why is this a problem, you may ask? It is because such massive holdings require a crazy amount of resources to run, which of course contributes to the whole issue of over-consumption, which then leads to climate change and all. 

Remember when the utility bill of RM2.3 million for Seri Perdana, where the Malaysian Prime Minister and family reside, became a topic of outraged conversation in 2013?

If Seri Perdana requires that much of resources to run, how much would all the properties Bezos own cost?

Don't get us wrong. We're quite delighted to hear about the amount of money Bezos has said he'll be investing in the fight against climate change. 

But at the same time, we can't help but look at the situation right now and wonder what exactly all that money would mean.

Is this for real?
Sure, it's his money to spend as he wishes, but considering that the world's richest 10 per cent contributes to half of the earth's carbon footprint, we should care if all the pledges made by people who contribute to the problem are actually fulfilled. 


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