Bezos Says View of Earth Changed His Priorities

Amazon's founder announces his recommitment to environment work
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2021 12:41 PM CDT
From Space, Bezos Sees Earth as a 'Tiny, Little Fragile Thing'
Jeff Bezos steps out of Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule Tuesday after landing in Texas.   (Blue Origin via AP)

Jeff Bezos has made plans and donations to combat the effects of climate change, but he's been criticized for not doing more, even by Amazon employees. Now that he's satisfied his space itch, Bezos said his focus will turn to environmental issues. He gained a new perspective up there, the Amazon founder said after returning to Earth on Tuesday, CNN reports. "The atmosphere is so gigantic … but when you get up above it, what you see is, it's actually incredibly thin, it's this tiny, little fragile thing and as we move about the planet, we are damaging it," he said. "It's one thing to recognize that intellectually, it's another thing to actually see with your own eyes how fragile it really is, and that was amazing." Bezos said the trip renewed his commitment to environmental issues, including climate change, per the Hill.

Bezos wants to build a road to space, using reusable rockets, so that pollution-spewing industry can be moved there, per NBC. Conceding that it would take decades, he said that would "keep Earth as this beautiful gem of a planet that it is" for future generations. There will be skeptics. Amazon's carbon footprint rivals that of small countries. A letter to the Wall Street Journal this month likened Bezos' environment work and donations to buying a plenary indulgence for "his climate-vanity sins." The Catholic Church's ancient practice of issuing indulgences, still in use today, provides a way of avoiding the punishment owed a sinner, per Catholic New Service, if they meet conditions that have changed over the years; "We're not selling them anymore," a priest said, per the New York Times. Bezos' environment offenses, the letter said, include "shooting himself into space, flying in private jets and luxuriating on a 127-meter yacht." (More Jeff Bezos stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.