Jeff Bezos has pledged to donate $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund as an initiative toward fighting climate change. His philanthropic effort to mitigate the enervating impacts of climate change could change the course of the exigent crisis and sustainably develop new technologies that do not harm the environment.
Global temperatures have been rising for a couple of decades and are gaining pace quicker than ever. The intense heat waves, melting of glaciers and rise of sea levels we are witnessing are a portent to even worse events in the future. The United States is expected to have higher temperatures as well as a drastic change in precipitation patterns. The hurricanes that subsume the coasts from time to time are expected to be more intense and stronger.
Climate change, as former vice president and climate activist Al Gore describes, is an inconvenient truth that lawmakers, especially right-wing politicians, refuse to acknowledge. He said, “Climate change is really not a political issue, so much a moral one.”
Bezos’ altruistic effort that envisions green earth for our future generations seeks to cooperate with big and small companies, nations around the world and various organizations. The amount he is willing to invest has challenged the ultrarich people of the world to save the earth for their posterity. It could also help to amplify the need to take immediate action to solve this problem and remove skepticism about the vitality of the disaster we are awaiting.
There are various ways in which this money could be used. First of all, we can expect higher funding for technological innovations that use energy from renewable resources. Energy generated from solar panels and wind turbines could be a possible solution against the fossil fuel industry due to its reduced carbon footprints. Since we cannot rely on direct solar power at night and wind turbines on non-windy days, the energy needs to be stored. Therefore, funding for electricity storage capacities can be expanded with this program.
Construction of nuclear reactors to extract nuclear energy could be encouraged by this initiative too. Nuclear energy reactors produce zero-carbon power that already accounts for 20% of electricity consumed in the US. The development of such reactors, however, has declined in recent decades due to safety hazards and the increased cost of operation. This fund can help to build reactors with modern technology and reduce the radioactive threats of these plants.
About 85% of Americans own a car. The car has been an indispensable factor in American livelihoods and the automobile culture. Taking advantage of this fact, Bezos could invigorate automakers to make cheaper electric vehicles. The carbon emissions of automobiles that run on fossil fuels are the worst causes of global warming. With an increase in the number of cars that run on renewable energy, we can reduce the harmful impacts of emissions on the environment without altering the status quo.
Let us hope that the generosity shown by Bezos gathers the attention of people and concerned authorities toward finding effective and sustainable remedies of the climate crisis.