- Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the richest person in the world.
- Bills Gates founded the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.
- Some people feel that billionaires are at the cause of global warming.
Hurricanes are raging forth and fires are swallowing whole sections of inhabited areas and pushing people to run for their lives to the seas as the planet is getting hotter and hotter each year. In 2019 alone, massive fires in Siberia are thought to have released almost as much CO2 as 36,000,000 cars do in one year, causing enormous amounts of pollution. In the face of facts like these, many people believe climate change is a real phenomenon and that it is here to stay as long as we do not do enough to change the course of the future.
Making real change is possible though, but it can take time and money. Who has more of this than the rest of us? The answer to that is billionaires.
It is true that some billionaires do not care to make an impact on the planet. Perhaps they would rather float around in yachts and dream up their next deal. Others, however, feel that their status and wealth can be put to good use. Who are they?
Let’s start with the world’s richest man who is presently Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. He is worth an estimated $130 billion, and earlier in 2020 he announced that he was about to pledge about 8% of his wealth, ($10 billion), to finance work done by scientists, researchers, groups, and activists to fight climate change. This could be a substantial drop in the bucket towards a better future for the planet, if it works.
Another person of wealth who has stepped forward is Bill Gates. As the founder of Microsoft, Gates presently owns an estimated $99.2 billion. Together with other high net worth investors, Gates has founded something called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC).
BEC has been introduced to the world to fund the next generation of energy technologies globally, in order to move humanity away from relying on non-renewable resources of power, and from consuming protein, (namely meat), in a non-sustainable way.
Those who have signed on to be a part of BEC have pledged to fund $1 billion collectively, towards this effort. Who is doing it? Many names are on the list for this organization including Bezos, Marc Benioff, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg, and Richard Branson.
Will the efforts of a few really be enough to save the masses? It is hard to tell. Hopefully, the work of the richest will go a long way towards making a positive mark. Some say that it is not enough, however. Writers like Kate Arnoff of TheGuardian.com feel that planet Earth would be better off if billionaires did not exist at all. They have a much larger carbon footprint than the rest of us and are at the root of some of the causes of our stressed environment and climate change. She feels that perhaps we would all be better off without them. It is hard to imagine developed countries giving up their cell phones and refusing to order anything off of Amazon, however.