back to article Jeff Bezos bungs $10bn at climate change after chump change for Oz bush fires

Very wealthy bloke Jeff Bezos announced he would be spending billions on fighting climate change the same day his space rocket venture, Blue Origin, opened its Huntsville production facility. The world's richest man – net worth $130bn – last month pledged a million Australian dollars to help deal with the country's ferocious …

  1. overunder Silver badge

    A rich man...

    ...creating things for the rich, literally orbited above the heads of the poor. He's a wreck.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: A rich man...

      There's nothing wrong with being WEALTHY, especially when your wealth is SELF-MADE.

      Those who do work, or have really good ideas [and then successfully market those ideas], DESERVE to KEEP the rewards of their efforts.

      "Donating money" to a pet cause, however, CAN be a way of doing POLITICAL SPENDING with "tax deductible" funds. It also helps to SILENCE your critics, by literally "buying them off".

      If Bezos opens a factory for rocket engines and HIRES PEOPLE, that's a GOOD thing.

      Spending billions on "fighting climate change", most likely will JUST line the pockets of political activists, lying "researchers", and those who would OTHERWISE be protesting on a daily basis and being a general PAIN IN THE ASS. So he's "buying their silence" I would think...

      And as Rush Limbaugh put it (he's talking about this very thing on the radio right now), he could buy a "climate change" curriculum for EVERY SCHOOL with this kind of money, and buy off EVERY climate scientist, and every college research department.

      If he would put this into FUSION RESEARCH instead, maybe it would actually DO something about reducing the CO2 that the "climate change" believes is *KILLING* *THE* *PLANET*. And it would give us inexpensive, virtually UNLIMITED electric power, for CENTURIES. Yes there is THAT much nuclear fuel on the planet for fusion (all of the 2H and 3H in the ocean, around 1% of all of the water has this kind of hydrogen in it).

      But like nearly ALL "rich liberal" types, he's buying P.R. with his "donations" and THEN doing what he wants without their criticism...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: A rich man...

        "If he would put this into FUSION RESEARCH instead, maybe it would actually DO something about reducing the CO2 that the "climate change" believes is *KILLING* *THE* *PLANET*. "

        Yeah, I was thinking similar when I read "dealing with the impact of climate change," rather than combating the causes.

      2. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

        Re: A rich man...

        "DESERVE to KEEP"

        Keeping their riches to themselves is the worst thing rich people can do. Money helps no-one when sitting in an offshore account. Rich people can help the world by spending their money so it goes back into the economy.

        1. Julz Silver badge

          Re: A rich man...

          Money very rarely sits where you think you've put it and goes on many adventures between deposit and withdrawal.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A rich man...

        Might have known you were a climate change denier, Bob. I presume you're a flat-earther too?

        Look out of your window sometime.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: A rich man...

          no, I do _ACTUAL_ science, not that doom/gloom politically-driven NON-science.

          CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas. Why? Because it is _TRANSPARENT_ for IR frequencies corresponding to black body radiation for temperatures ACTUALLY FOUND ON EARTH outside of a volcano. And if you do NOT understand what that means or implies, go ahead and believe your pseudo-science, as there's no hope for you.

          Those of us who DO understand REAL science can RECOGNIZE that CO2 concentration changes don't mean SQUAT with respect to world temperatures and/or "climate". This is becaue the mechanism for a 'greenhouse gas' to affect temperature is based on its IR ABSORPTION SPECTRUM and the black body radiation frequencies that correspond to environmental temperatures!!! <-- that is REAL science by the way

          Earth cools at night due to black body radiation. Temperatures correspond to a narrow range of IR frequencies. Photons with those frequencies must be 'trapped' (absorbed by the atmosphere) in order to "warm" or "blanket" the earth. This is where a greenhouse gas makes a difference in earth's temperatures. And CO2 isn't one, because it will have ALMOST NO EFFECT on the amount of IR radiation heading into outer space.

          Water, "the other greenhouse gas", however, is at least 100 times as effective as CO2 - and yet the doom/gloom pseudo-scientists NEVER try to control THAT - because they can't control PEOPLE with it, and the earth is FLOODED anyway, which is MORE obvious that it's a FREAKING HOAX.

          Think of it this way: cloudy day = cold day. cloudy night = warm night. Water has a HUGE effect, not only on black body radiation cooling the earth, but on incoming UV, heat, and light from Mr. Sun. Water has a VERY WIDE spectrum for IR absorption, light absorption, and so on. This is how it WORKS.

          (that pretty much sums it up, yeah)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A rich man...

            Thanks. All the world scientists are wrong, and we should listen to trump loving caps-lock-bob?

            1. Julz Silver badge

              Re: A rich man...

              CAPS-LOCK Bob has a point but it's a bit more complicated. Here is a readable explanation of current(ish) thinking.

              http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=1169

              1. entitled tb untitled

                Re: A rich man...

                "Here is a readable explanation of current(ish) thinking."

                No it isn't. To quote the opening sentence I have been struggling to understand exactly how increasing CO2 levels leads to global warming using basic physics.... Judging from the elementary mistakes he makes, he still doesn't understand it.

                1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                  Devil

                  Re: A rich man...

                  yeah, well it's understanding the mechanism by which a greenhouse gas would alter temperatures on the planet that is the core of this.

                  Greenhouse gasses [of which there are several] trap heat that would OTHERWISE escape out into space, acting like a blanket (i.e. keep the heat on the planet). Some of them have opposite effect during the day (like water). ALL of them absorb infrared radiation, and those energies absorbed would then (effectively) 'warm the planet' through various means (convection, radiation).

                  An object that is above absolute zero emits radiation to cool down to (eventually) absolute zero. The sun keeps earth from doing that completely, but on the 'dark side' of the planet, it emits "black body radiation", in the form of photons. The emitted photons have energy levels that are well known. The distribution of energy is asymptotic, and theoretically includes ALL energies below the one corresponding to the temperature, but being practical, it's a small band. So yeah, at 20C, you'll see energies corresponding to something that CO2 *might* absorb (like the energy for -50C), but it will be so FEW photons you can consider it to be "effectively zero" - like a limit in calculus.

                  Understanding that - examine the physical properties of CO2, for REAL, and NOT just because a bunch of self-proclaimed (paid by those with a political agenda) "climate scientists" "concur" on something.

                  Someone already mentioned 'flat earth'. A bunch of "scientists" used to CONCUR on *THAT* falsehood, too... for MANY CENTURIES!

                  Here's a thought: if a compost pile produces methane, a REAL greenhouse gas, how come the warmists aren't going after THOSE? It's a fair bet that a LOT of environmentally-conscious people do composting...

                  Additionally, at higher CO2 levels [like cloud seeding] you should see MORE RAIN. That may have a much LARGER effect than any 'greenhouse gas' might have, and in the OPPOSITE direction! Thing is, rain ALSO depletes the CO2, putting it into the dirt, lakes, rivers, and the ocean [where it eventually precipitates out as MgCO3 and CaCO3]. It's like when there's a forest fire in California, and the smoke gets blown over the ocean, expect it to come circling back as a major rainstorm because the smoke particles form 'nuclei of condensation' for the water vapor [again, like cloud seeding].

                  to (as I remember) quote C.S. Lewis from one of his books: "What DO they teach in these schools?"

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: A rich man...

                    > Here's a thought: if a compost pile produces methane, a REAL greenhouse gas,

                    > how come the warmists aren't going after THOSE? It's a fair bet that a LOT of

                    > environmentally-conscious people do composting...

                    "Warmists?" - You really need to change your phrasing if you expect to be taken seriously.

                    Anyway, "warmists" are going after those. It's a huge driving force behind the vegan movement at the moment. I'm sure you're aware of that.

                    Anyway, is it your assertion that climate change isn't happening? Forget causes, you can big-up CO2 and blame Obama for it if you want, but do you even believe it exists?

                2. Julz Silver badge

                  Re: A rich man...

                  Care to add your wisdom and tell us all how it works using basic physics?

          2. The Central Scrutinizer

            Re: A rich man...

            Gonna have to call you out on all that bullshit. Basically every real, actual climate scientist on the planet agrees that the science is settled, so your rantings won't change anything.

            And can you ever construct a sentence without all the screaming caps?

            1. SundogUK Silver badge

              Re: A rich man...

              "...every real, actual climate scientist on the planet agrees that the science is settled."

              Science is never settled. It's part of the definition of science.

          3. muuser

            Re: A rich man...

            Aw, come on Bob. Greenhouse effect model. Glass, (and air) is transparent to visible light, where most solar radiation power is (check out solar BBR). CO2 (and glass) blocks longer wavelength IR that is reradiated from the earth.

            You could make a better case querying whether CO2 levels lead or lag global warming.

            1. dobbin99

              Re: A rich man...

              From the information I have seen the normal "natural" heating/cooling trends of co2 has it lagging the temperature increase until a tipping point where it then leads it. So past warming and cooling has had to have a stimulus to start it, meteor impact, solar orbit changes, etc. Unfortunately the current warming has been lead by rises in co2, and when the other known causes of temperature change are taken into consideration can only be down to co2 rise. Linked to the fact that the rise and level of co2 is unprecedented when compared to the historical record, man made co2 is the the highest probability cause. The fact that we are approaching the tipping point that natural co2 warming rise takes over, on top of the man made co2 is the cause of the recent sense of urgency.

              I can recommend potholer54 youtube videos for a good source of sound climate change information and debunking of myths.

    2. Mike the FlyingRat
      Devil

      @overunder Re: A rich man...

      I don't know that I would say that.

      Look, I think the issue is that giving money away to charity for charity's sake is being altruistic.

      Its nice but guys who are worth 130 Billion are anything but altruistic.

      10 Billion to fight 'climate change' ?

      Watch where that money is actually going and how its spent.

      You may find out that he's not being altruistic and is profiting from his generous gift. (e.g. lobbying for exceptions for rockets if there was a carbon tax)

      Just saying...

  2. JDX Gold badge

    El Reg not at all bitter about Jeff's wealth then...

    Also isn't it weird the richest man in the world, possibly the richest man there's ever been, is called Jeff?

  3. deadlockvictim

    Amazon is our creation

    We, as consumers, made Amazon what it is. We chose convenience and low price over the importance of brick-and-mortar.

    Anyway, the man has pledged 10 billion dollars towards a most worthy cause and I think that he is to be congratulated on this.

    To be sure, he could pay his workers a living wage and make Amazon a fine place to work for, but he hasn't, so let him be pilloried for that.

    That being said, his act is a fine one and I would rather he did it than bought things for his own personal pleasure.

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Amazon is our creation

      It wasn't exactly a choice for some of us. Unless you want womens designer clothes or naff jewellery my local town center has no shops of any interest. We now boast about 15 coffee shops and 3 separate branches of Greggs but if you want to buy anything else it's about a 20 mile drive to another town.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Amazon is our creation

        ...and much of that has been caused by the on-line shopping "revolution".

  4. codejunky Silver badge

    Wow

    What did Jeff do to piss in your chips? His money he can do what he likes with it. As for those crying about how he spends his own money he should offer a 2 finger salute. What is this fascination with other peoples pockets?

    1. anonymous noel coward~

      Re: Wow

      Read up on how Amazon treats its workers then come back and explain how that $130bn should be 'his'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow

        and about how little tax he pays (in America, at least)

      2. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        Explain why it shouldn't be.

      3. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        @anonymous noel coward~

        "Read up on how Amazon treats its workers then come back and explain how that $130bn should be 'his'"

        It should be his as it is earned. People choose to trade money for his products and services.

        Now you explain to me and SundogUK why it shouldnt be his

  5. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Huntsville, AL

    Is locally thought of as "The Silicon Valley of the South"... Thanks to NASA, the Redstone Arsenal, and a lot of contractors associated with same.

    Having lived in Huntsville, and in Silicon Valley....I can authoritatively say that Huntsville is more like the Milpitas of the South...or maybe Alviso...

  6. steelpillow Silver badge
    Trollface

    We don't need no stinkin' planet

    Rockets, space colonies, DNA of every living thing (quick! before any more of 'em die!), $$$.

    Betcha the cloud storage for the DNA data will be codenamed Oort.

  7. HammerOn1024

    Go-Juice?

    "And the fuel used by Bezos' engines isn't quite as horrid as some of the other go-juice found in the rocket industry, although the generation of the many, many..."

    Really?! And just WHERE do you think the ENERGY to create that oxidizer and fuel comes from; the energy faeries?

    First, one cracks water to get the O2 and H2 gas - lots and lots of energy, then one compresses the gas - lots and lots of energy, then cools the gas - lots and lots of energy, then rapidly expands it to liquefy it - very little energy use to maintain temperature, then in liquid form, pumped into cryogenically cooled storage tanks - OMG, OMG there's a lot of energy used here!

    Cryogenic fuel is NOT about the environment, it's about energy content: To date, no oxidizer/fuel combination has the energy density of good old O2 and H2 burning.

    I would like to see the actual energy budget for producing O2/H2 and O2/RP1. Since only the O2 portion of the O2/RP1 (Refined Kerosene) needs to be kept cryogenic, and since the O2 can be pulled straight from the atmosphere since we don't need the H2, I'd expect it to have 1/3 to 1/2 the energy needs of the O2/H2 bandwagon. And yeah, that does take into account the energy used to find, drill, pump, transport, refine and store the RP1.

    Please educate yourself.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Go-Juice?

      Hmmm. Reading comprehension not your strong point?

      The Bezos mix is less unpleasant than some rocket fuels but the article was fairly obvious about its lack of eco-friendlyness in production terms, or at least left the question hanging there.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet their data slurping carries on

    at ever increasing rates.

    The Panorama programme on them (broadcast last night) should be compulsive viewing for everyone.

    The probable know more about each and everyone of us than Google and Microsoft and Facebook combined.

    I only use them as a place of last resort and through gritted teeth. Every time I do, it gets harder and harder to avoid siging up for Prime. This is just creepy and downright wrong.

    Avoid at all costs.

  9. AndyFl

    Great news for the environment

    What is with all the sour grapes around ElReg?

    Guy puts up USD 10B for environmental causes and everyone starts to complain. I don't care where it comes from but a lump of cash that size is likely to make a difference in science and engineering. I say "thanks for putting up the money".

    Rather than complaining let's have a discussion on how best it can be used and how we can get more money from any sources to add to the pot.

    Anyone remember the comments when Bill Gates set up his foundation with his wife? That has changed the lives of more people than I can count.

    1. confused and dazed

      Re: Great news for the environment

      I think the sour grapes are because of the way he has made his money. There is no doubt that Amazon provide a fine service. It would also appear that their workers are employed to local legal minimum standards.

      However, this guys wealth has been made off the backs of his employees. Their fulfilment centres appear to be horrific places to work and are staffed by people with little other choice. Perhaps making their lives slightly more pleasant and only being worth 50 Billion would encourage people to see this generous gesture in a better light

  10. HildyJ Silver badge
    Pint

    A mixed but very expensive bag

    Some of what Jeff does is good, some is visionary, and some is downright slimy.

    That said, I applaud his putting $10b towards climate change. While he hasn't reached the philanthropic level of Bill and Melinda he is light years ahead of Mark (who is even slimier) and trying to do something about climate change is much more laudable than Bernard collecting art and building branded art museums.

  11. Pete4000uk

    Paper trail

    Will we ever see where every dime of this money get spent?

  12. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Since the GMB are hitting over the increasing number of injuries in their sorting centres since the robots were installed we should also take a moment to remember the poor Universal Credit driven souls who have to try and earn a pittance while at the mercy of robot this and that and having to queue to be searched on leaving every day (I wonder if they search injured workers as they're wheeled the ambulances).

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Since I'm unemployed on UC (good prospect interview tomorrow) I'm glad I'm too far from Dunfermline to be forced into working at the huge distribution centre there. It's unmissable on Google Earth, they also named the access road Amazon Way.

      That's the one people were found living in tents alongside it to avoid paying for a commute. I've seen those tents, you could see them from the M90 motorway. There but from being transferred away from the Jobcentre bully could have gone I.

      She sent me on a course for the long term unemployed and I ended up having to stand up and take the second half of the course (and create the curriculum) I was on. And winning that job made me her golden boy. I went into the Jobcentre after landing it and got applauded and lauded.

      BTW I was told on the Wednesday and had to front the group I had been part of the following Monday. A nice steep learning curve. Thank goodness we have a good public library still (and advantage of Scotland).

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