Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon is donating $1 million AUD to support Australians coping with our devastating bushfires.
Meanwhile, Amazon is extracting a lot of money from oil companies:
The partnership [between Amazon and BP], which has received comparably little attention, capped a year of aggressive expansion into the fossil fuel market for Amazon Web Services. In addition to forging new alliances, over the last several months Amazon has hosted and participated in a string of oil and gas industry-focused events, ostensibly to help it woo potential clients. It has done so even as it was releasing its much-touted “Climate Pledge,” a series of sustainability commitments including a plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and despite the fact that thousands of Amazon employees have publicly criticized the company for working with the fossil fuel industry as the world burns.
The kicker: the partnership is supposedly about helping oil companies get “greener”.
The bushfires currently razing Australia are a result of climate change. We’ve always had bushfires and they’ve always been dangerous. But these fires are catastrophic as a result of the environmental changes brought about by our warming world.
Amazon’s donation is great. It’ll help a lot of people.
But expressing sympathy for a people affected by climate change while benefiting from the fossil fuel industry – which is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions – is disingenuous at best and destructive at worst.
It’s not enough to be philanthropic. The world needs systemic change.
And, besides, if you’re going to be philanthropic, at least commit. Jason Koebler did a bit of math on Twitter:
Jeff Bezos is worth $116,000,000,000. Donating $690,000 USD is equivalent to someone worth $50,000 donating 29 cents