The super-rich owner of Amazon just learned that you can never, ever do enough for green activists.
We are paradoxically told that we must spend billions of dollars to fight the inevitable “climate catastrophe” or we’re all going to die in the next… what is it now, 11 months? Whatever.
The advocates shouting that both governments and individuals Need To Do Something Right Now while protest-dancing, super-gluing themselves to roads, and setting up a blockade in front of the wrong business, aren’t so supportive of Bezos pledging to give billions of dollars to their cause. Some are calling it a “greenwash” and slamming him as a hypocrite because according to even those who buy Amazon shares, his business has a massive carbon footprint.
The richest man in America yesterday unveiled the Bezos Earth Fund to be set up with his vast funds. Amazon paid federal income tax this year for the first time since 2016, shelling out $162 million, a mere 1.2 percent of its $13.9billion income for 2019.
Earlier this month Bezos spent more than that on a Beverly Hills mansion worth $165million.
Critics were quick to point out that Amazon has a carbon footprint that is greater than some small countries and gets tax breaks, which they find offensive. They also question where the funding will go and how exactly it will help in fighting climate change.
Amazon said it emitted 44.4million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2018, which is more than some small countries.
Furthermore, critics questioned how the initiative would operate, it being privately funded, Bezos will be have full control and its activities will not necessarily be transparent.
In outlining his project Bezos only provided rudimentary details saying it ‘will fund scientists, activists, NGOs.’
Bezos posted the announcement that he was starting Bezos Earth Fund on Instagram writing:
“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.”
View this post on 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
But it was quickly noted that Amazon’s business model relies on fossil fuel and has made deals with oil and gas companies.
Amazon has landed lucrative deals with fossil fuel companies BP, Shell and Haliburton, to provide machine learning for better exploration and oilfield automation.
Others drew attention to the plight of Bezos’ workers around the world who have endured savage working conditions to meet cost-cutting retail demands.
Many commented on the hypocrisy from a man whose company makes its billions from packaging items with papers and plastics and delivers them by burning fossil fuels.
Source: Daily Mail
The lefty blue-check eco-activists grabbed their smartphones and tweeted their outrage because Bezos is really a capitalist villain, you see. The answer is to move to socialism and take their money.
Yesterday Jeff Bezos announced he would commit $10B into a new venture called the Bezos Earth Fund.
All that money could help fund a Green New Deal if Amazon paid its taxes. We stand in solidarity with the workers at Amazon organizing to make this happen. https://t.co/NeehxTQTTk
— 350 dot org (@350) February 18, 2020
Jeff Bezos is the richest man on ? bc Amazon paid 1.2% in taxes on 13.2 Billion in PROFIT last year.
When we elect a #BrandNewCongress, mega corps will no longer exploit the working class & will pay their fair share.
— Jen Perelman (@JENFL23) February 10, 2020
Jeff Bezos sucks.
Mike Bloomberg sucks.
I can’t wait to tax the fuck out of them and watch them cry about it. https://t.co/8s157eXteA
— (((David Starr)))? (@TheProductDS) February 18, 2020
Others say it’s a way for him to “greenwash” his company’s carbon footprint.
To be quite honest, #JeffBezos the biggest threat to our planet is tax avoidance. Throwing 10 billion at the Climate Emergency isn't about saving the planet but you white washing your company's culpability in it.
— John Smith (son of Harry Leslie Smith) (@Harryslaststand) February 18, 2020
Instead of a small donation to greenwash his company's devastating climate record, Jeff Bezos should try paying his taxes. https://t.co/n39K3uyX4z
— VICE UK (@VICEUK) January 13, 2020
Berkeley Economics professor and former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich noted that Bezos lives a life of luxury.
Jeff Bezos' new $165 million Beverly Hills mansion will have:
— 3 hot houses
— 2 guesthouses
— A nine-hole golf course
— A tennis court
— A "motor court" with gas pumps
Remember when Amazon's Whole Foods cut health benefits for part-time workers to save money?
Tax the rich.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 13, 2020
If you want to wrap your head around just how much a billion dollars really is, consider this:
— 1 million seconds is 11.5 days
— 1 billion seconds is 31.5 YEARS
Now consider this:
Jeff Bezos' net worth is $160 billion.
$160 billion. With a B.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 14, 2020
Wow. Reich sounds a bit envious of Bezos’s success. After all, Reich is just a millionaire. According to The Richest, Reich’s net worth is in the neighborhood of $4 million.
Jeff Bezos' Beverly Hills mansion has:
—A nine-hole golf course
—A tennis court
—A "motor court" with gas pumps
Let's not confuse that for his DC mansion, which has:
—1,006 light fixtures
—A full movie theater
Tax the rich.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 16, 2020
— Amazon donated $690K to Australia fire relief
— Jeff Bezos gets paid $700K every 5 minutes
— Amazon's donation is the equivalent of a normal person donating 55 cents
— Amazon got a $129M rebate on $11B in profits in 2018
Tax the rich.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) February 16, 2020
Alleged-conservative political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas weighed in, and like many others were slamming Amazon for not paying its “fair share” in taxes.
Not of a fan of vilifying billionaire donors. All Americans should pay fair share of taxes. @Amazon, @JeffBezos, I’m talking you you. But whether you grew-up a trust-fund baby or a latch-key kid, whether you’re rich or deep in debt, in America we all have same political rights.??
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) February 11, 2020
Taxes, which Amazon avoids paying, are better than charity. The Green New Deal is also a lot better than a Bezos Earth Fund, which @JeffBezos has only provided “rudimentary details” about. https://t.co/UbuOogPnJk
— Ben Spielberg (@BenSpielberg) February 18, 2020
If Jeff Bezos was taxed at a 70% rate on his $130billion worth, we would have $90billion for climate change and he’d still have more money than one person could spend in a lifetime. https://t.co/FXhqWtwVFF
— Chris Kluwe, Irredeemable Pudgy Nobody (@ChrisWarcraft) February 18, 2020
And I pay taxes!
— Brad Johnson (@climatebrad) February 18, 2020
Instead of giving $10 billion to fight climate change, @JeffBezos and @Amazon could just pay their fair share of taxes & countries around the world would have the funds to fight climate change, provide citizens with affordable healthcare, ensure schools are properly funded, etc
— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) February 18, 2020
Reminder that Jeff Bezos makes $10bn every month.
Philanthropy is good. Paying taxes is better. pic.twitter.com/tiCdBOLr46
— Adam Smith (@adamndsmith) February 18, 2020
Jonah Blank says that the $10 billion that Bezos has pledged is not really from him, but the money that was “stolen” from taxpayers.
So, yes, this $10 billion is largely money that comes from you and me (that is: The taxpayers of every country where Amazon operates).
BUT he's using it to fight #ClimateChange.
So: ?????????? https://t.co/VlSsAgKmMq
— Jonah Blank (@JonahBlank) February 18, 2020
Well, that’s a take.
Sure, Amazon has problems with surplus packaging, treatment of employees, and avoiding taxes by exploiting loopholes — and none of that is something that can be ignored — but the man just pledged the GDP of a small country to the left’s cause célèbre. Where’s the gratitude? Where is the applause?
Hollywood celebs are fêted when the jet all over the place to speak at climate action events.
Oh, wait. I forgot. They’re not mustache-twirling capitalists like Bezos.
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