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Jeff Bezos, The Richest Man in the World, Commits $10 Billion to Address Climate Change

Gettyimages | MARK RALSTON
By Zachary Holt

With the world under threat from the climate crisis, natural disasters have seemingly gotten worse and worse each year. Just recently, Antarctica reached the hottest January temperatures on record.

Prior to that, Australia was dealing with the tragic wildfires that claimed much of the country and took the lives of not only millions of animals, but also a number of people, who were on the front lines fighting the blazes.

In an effort to help combat the growing threat that is 'climate change', Amazon founder and the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, has pledged to give $10 million for research to assist in our fight.

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Bezos Pulls an About-Face in Wake of Criticisms From Australian Wildfire Donations

Gettyimages | Paul Morigi

This move is surprising, to say the least, after Amazon donated only one million dollars ($690,000 US) in Australia's currency to combat the wildfires that were ransacking the country.

At the time of the donation, it was a slap in the face for the shopping giant to give very little of their wealth, especially when they weren't paying the applicable taxes. That's an argument for another day, though.

As of Monday, Bezos announced his pledge and provided a statement to explain exactly where the donations would be going and how it would be used in the fight to mitigate climate change.

Bezos: 'Climate Change Is the Biggest Threat to Out Planet'

Gettyimages | Emma McIntyre

To announce his commitment, he took to Instagram to share his message. "Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," he wrote. "I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share."

The effort by Bezos will go to fund scientists, activists, and non-governmental organizations. It was also announced on Instagram that he expects the grants to be initiated this summer.

Amazon and Bezos Don't Have a Strong Track Record of Philanthropic Work

Gettyimages | ERIC BARADAT

Bezo's decision to donate a significant amount of money is surprising due to his track record with philanthropic causes in the past. He hasn't been one to really jump into helping others or the environment. Amazon, itself, inundates the planet with a massive carbon footprint and even has contracts with oil and gas companies from around the world, including in Australia.

Instead of focusing on helping others and the planet, Bezos has chosen to focus on Amazon and other private ventures, such as Blue Origins, which is a company that builds rockets in anticipation of commercial space travel. He also owns the Washington Post newspaper.

The Money Will Be a Grant, Not an Investment, No Profits for Bezos

Gettyimages | MANDEL NGAN

Still, it's never too late to do good in the world, and we're hoping that the $10 billion will go to organizations and research that can actually benefit our fight against a seemingly daunting future, at least for successive generations.

Bezos' donation will also go strictly as a grant and not an investment, meaning he will not be making any money off of the gesture. We'll have to wait and see which organizations receive the funding, as well as, what the anticipated plans are for using it once it's given out.

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