Since the devastation that has occurred from the wildfires in Australia, many people all around the world have been donating what they can for the firefighters on the front line, as well as, for wildlife conservation and charities related to sustainability in the country.
This has included celebrities and high-profile A-listers such as Chris Hemsworth, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, and Pink. Well, add Amazon founder and the world's richest man to the mix, Jeff Bezos. Just recently, Bezos made his own donation in the amount of $690,000 ($1 million AUD) and people are not happy with his charity.
It's Akin to Someone Worth $50,000 Donating Three Cents
It's not the donation in itself that is causing the uproar amongst people around the world. It's that the money is not coming from Bezos' bank account, but his almost trillion-dollar business, Amazon. The shopping and shipping conglomerate for perspective is worth $933,670,000,000, currently. For a donation of $690,000, it is equivalent to a person who is worth $50,000 donating just three cents.
Even more frustrating is this donation by Amazon and Bezos doesn't affect their bottom line, in the very slightest. It's truly a paltry donation from a company that doesn't pay taxes, to begin with, and also has a horrible record when it comes to environmental and climate issues. This is not to say that the money won't benefit the wildfire relief that is needed throughout the Australian continent, but that the donation is not occurring in a vacuum. Other celebrities have donated close to that amount or even more. Chris Hemsworth has donated one million dollars.
Amazon's Track Record for Environmental and Climate Issues
Amazon's 'altruistic' act has been receiving praise all around the world on places like Australia's biggest websites, Yahoo!, and Business Insider. Amazon, themselves, wrote on their blog "Our hearts go out to all Australians, the country’s communities, bushland, and wildlife affected by the devastating bushfires". Unfortunately, there are much bigger issues that Amazon needs to address if it wants to show that they care about the environment.
Not surprisingly, the corporate giant did not address pressing issues on its blog that it currently has one of the largest carbon footprints in the entire world, if not the largest in the tech industry; multiple contracts with fossil fuel companies such as Woodside Petroleum, Australia's largest gas and electric company; and has threatened to fire employees that push to help reduce their overall carbon footprint. These problems seem to indicate larger, more endemic issues than are not being corraled by the ridiculously small donation to Australian wildfire relief.
Amazon Asks Customers to Donate to Wildfire Relief
If the minuscule donation by Amazon amid its tax evasion practices and overbearingly negative approach to environmental and climate sustainability weren't already a slap in the face to people around the world, the requests that Amazon has made on their blog website to others might just be. On their blog, they encouraged people to help donate to the relief.
"Customers who wish to donate essential items to the relief effort can do so by visiting Amazon.com.au and shopping from the wish list specifically created by BlazeAid," it read. "Amazon will deliver these items to BlazeAid’s nominated destinations. Additional charity wish lists will be added in the days to come with thousands of items available to order."
The thing is it's not bad for other people to donate. It's a wonderful thing if people can afford to give back. It's the hubris and greed as a corporate megalith that is rubbing others the wrong way, and they have voiced their concerns on social media platforms.
Social Media Reacts to Seemingly Arbitrary Donation Amount
One user on Twitter was quick to call Bezos out for his seemingly arbitrary donation amount stating, "#JeffBezos donating $690,000 to the crisis in Australia is just crass... it amplifies his extremely obscene wealth and makes him look absolutely scummy...not that we all didn't already know this, but still... 🙄🙄.
"Woman sells her nudes & makes over $700K. Donates every penny to Australian Brushfires.#JeffBezos, CEO of @Amazon, earns over $230K/minute, donates $690K to the Australian Brushfires. This is why we must dismantle the 10th of the 1%. She gave her body. He gave 3 minutes," another said, referencing an Instagram model and influencer who sold naked images of herself for donations to the wildfire relief.
Yet, a third commented, "@JeffBezosis lame. He doesn’t understand humanity is a shared experience. All that money, and still lacks a heart. Can’t buy compassion or empathy, #jeffbezos Life will teach the hard lessons."