Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man alive, by a healthy margin. He's sat at the top of the annual Forbes billionaires list for the past two years, most recently with an estimated $130 billion net worth, an amount that, were he a country, would give him a higher GDP than, say, all of Morocco.
On Saturday, Bezos announced that Amazon—the second company in history to be worth $1 trillion—would donate to relief efforts in the wake of horrifyingly massive wildfires in Australia:
On Amazon's corporate blog, the company writes, "Our hearts go out to all Australians, the country's communities, bushland, and wildlife affected by the devastating bushfires. Using Amazon’s unique logistics and innovative technologies, along with cash donations to support organizations on the front line of relief efforts, Amazon is contributing AU$1million to national efforts to provide relief to communities impacted by this natural disaster." One million Australian dollars is worth approximately $690,000 American dollars, a sum so small that it reeks of a poorly thought-out PR stunt.
Brushfires occur year-round in Australia, but the severity of this year's is the worst in decades, with no signs of slowing down. Since September, the 135 fires in Australia's southeast have destroyed nearly 3,000 homes and killed 26 people. One "megafire," created when two bushfires joined together, covered nearly 2,300 square miles. An estimated 1 billion animals have died, with experts worried that some species may have been wiped out entirely. So Amazon's donation of less than three-quarters of a million dollars translates to about 0.069 cents per incinerated animal.
Amazon, which paid $0 in taxes, made more than $11 billion in profit in 2018—almost 16,000 times as much as the $690,000 donation. Bezos himself could afford to contribute a great deal. By Business Insider's calculations, Bezos's income grew by $34 million per day in the past three months, meaning Bezos made approximately $690,000 every 30 minutes give or take.
By contrast, makeup entrepreneur and lesser billionaire Kylie Jenner and Elton John contributed $1 million each to Australian wildlife relief. And earlier in January, Kaylen Ward, a California-based Instagram model, offered to send one nude photo to every follower who forwarded her a receipt for $10 or more in donations to a charity dedicated to the Australian fires. She helped raise an estimated $700,000 before Instagram deleted her account.
Bezos has said before that he can imagine moving all manufacturing into space and "Earth can be zoned residential." But he appears minimally invested in actually improving conditions on Earth for the moment. He's famously refused to sign fellow multibillionaire Bill Gates's "giving pledge," a symbolic and completely nonbinding agreement among the world's richest people to give away half of their wealth in their lifetimes. (His now ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, joined the pledge shortly after their divorce was finalized.) Bezos, it seems, has loftier plans for his constantly expanding wealth: In a 2018 interview he said, "The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it."
Correction: An earlier version of this article was based on an incorrect calculation of Bezos's income. This article has been updated to reflect a more accurate metric.
The Donald J. Trump Foundation is shutting down for a “shocking pattern of illegality,” but billionaires can use charities for all kinds of sketchy things that are totally legal.
Originally Appeared on GQ