Jeff Bezos took to Instagram to announce the launch of the Bezos Earth Fund. He’s putting $10bn into climate change action, which he describes as the “biggest threat to our planet.”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos doesn’t like bad press, but we should give him more of it because it triggers him into action. Bezos faced a raft of negative media attention last month after it was revealed he threatened to fire Amazon staff for speaking out on the company’s poor climate record.
He’s now launched the Bezos Earth Fund, which promises to distribute $10bn to combat the effects of global heating.
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos wrote on Instagram. “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.”
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Bezos is worth $US129.9bn according to Forbes. Amazon raised its staff minimum wage to $15 in the US and £9.50 in the UK in 2018, but this followed years of alleged exploitation. Meanwhile, many workers still claim to be overworked and under-supported by the company.
It points towards an odd paradox with tech billionaires. Bezos is eager to pose as liberal and relishes the idea he can change the world. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Bill Gates all occupy similar territory. However, they devote most of their time to wealth expansion and power games. They want to control us, basically, but also want to be adored for their sky-high good deeds.
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Perhaps we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but Bezos evidently wants some of that adoration for his new $10bn commitment. “We can save Earth,” he wrote, indicating the money will be divided between scientists, activists and NGOs.
And because everything is marketing, his post ended with the slogan-ish line, “Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.”