His behavior speaks of someone who was handed a massive inheritance and did nothing to earn it, rather than the from-the-bootstraps tech entrepreneur that he actually is.
His billions (as the world’s wealthiest man, according to Forbes) and his ascent to notoriety appear to have driven him to obsess over his image, but rather than actually conduct himself like a responsible grown-up, he would rather throw money around in futile attempts to come off as more responsible and mature than he is.
For example, consider his recent announcement that he will dedicate $10 billion of his personal wealth to “fight climate change.” It’s hard to imagine a business that belches more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the deliver-everywhere, mega-cloud-computing Amazon. Between package transport vehicles (oil) and massive server farms (coal and natural gas), that’s a lot of fossil fuel burnt. And don’t talk to me about the fraudulent “100 percent renewable” scam of indulgence-buying (otherwise known as “carbon (dioxide) offsets”).
No, the brand new Bezos Earth Fund is a grandstanding measure endowed from pocket change out of his $130-billion worth.
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos wrote in announcing the fund. “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.”
This PR pablum is unbecoming of the scientific and entrepreneurial genius that Bezos is. Obviously his ego, along with his standing among all the leftist tech billionaires, took a hit when his own employees staged a walkout in September (they even have their own special name: “Amazon Employees for Climate Justice”) to demand “more urgent steps,” as the Los Angeles Timesreported it.
Amazon’s immediate response was to issue a “climate pledge,” which included a promise to reach net-zero (see “indulgence scheme” above) carbon emissions by 2040. The company claimed that part of attaining that goal will be the 100-percent use of renewable energy companywide by 2030. National Legal and Policy Center debunked that assertion in 2015 in a report about Amazon’s data center in Virginia that it said was powered “100 percent” by a wind farm in North Carolina, just because the company cut a deal with a utility to add the electricity it generated to the grid.
As for the September climate pledge, the employee-extortionists – like with all environmental pressure groups – called it a “big step,” but insufficient.
“But we know it’s not enough…,” the group said to the Times, because with radical environmentalists, it is never enough. “Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets.”
That wasn’t the only hit to Bezos’s proud public profile.
Thanks to an extramarital affair behind the back of the wife (Mackenzie) who supported him through the birth and growing pains of Amazon – a liaison exposed due to some embarrassing photos of him obtained by National Enquirer – Bezos already had his share of embarrassment in 2019. This followed the shameful 2018 carnival of corporate welfare offerings that Amazon feasted on in search of its high-profile “HQ2,” or “second headquarters,” which drew more than 200 offers from competitive, job-hungry local and state governments which dangled massive tax breaks and other incentives. The desperation from public officials was on full display, all which burnished Bezos’s massive self-esteem even more, as they sought to lure Amazon. Northern Virginia ended up “winning” the project.
So the climate revolt of disrespected employees, along with much-hyped slutting around for tax breaks and government giveaways (said to be motivated by Bezos’s envy of incentives showered on Tesla’s Elon Musk), while paying next-to-no taxes yourself, is an overall bad look for a philandering CEO.
So why not throw a few bucks at an initiative named for yourself that will temporarily pacify, perpetuate and pay off the pressure group mobs both internally and externally? It was an easy call to start a path toward his image rehab.
It’s just too bad that $10 billion won’t go toward something truly useful, like construction of dependable fossil-fueled power plants in third-world countries.