February 21, 2020

Bezos Props Up the Greens With His Own Green

The billionaire socialist is pouring $10 billion into climate-alarmist organizations.

It’s no secret that many of the world’s richest people are strong supporters of leftist causes, even as they owe their fortunes to a system routinely denounced by the Left: free-market capitalism. Still, it’s eye-popping to imagine someone having a spare $10 billion just laying around to throw at a cause.

In this case, that someone is Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. His $10 billion pledge, dubbed the Bezos Earth Fund, is intended to assist “scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.” Added Bezos, “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.” This new commitment dwarfs the $2 billion previously pledged to his Bezos Day One Fund, which sponsors pre-schools and endeavors to help the homeless in struggling communities.

With this funding commitment in place, Bezos can now move to corner the “green” sector in much the same way he’s cornered e-commerce with Amazon. And thanks to his ownership of The Washington Post, he’ll enjoy priceless and unerringly favorable media coverage as his highly influential news organ helps set the political agenda.

Bezos’s lack of specifics about his Earth Fund also makes it an attractive pile of easy money for potential grifters, con artists, and rent seekers who’ve discovered the power of slapping a “green” or “renewable” or “sustainable” label on just about any half-baked idea.

As an often publicly subsidized private business, Amazon is perfectly entitled to combat climate change by pledging to be “carbon neutral” by 2040 and making plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles. But the real question is whether it will attempt to tip the scales by purchasing public policy. Leaked memos regarding a recent closed-door meeting between a number of state officials and environmental advocacy groups reveal the officials who speak glowingly about the green industry in public are more candid behind closed doors. Predictably, The Washington Post refuses to report on these politically and economically inconvenient truths.

There would likely be no significant market in renewables today if not for federal and state incentives combined with state-level carve-outs mandating a small but steadily growing share of electricity generation from non-fossil sources (except nuclear power). It’s a sweet deal for everyone — except consumers. Oftentimes, utilities that can’t create their share of renewables contribute a penalty payment to the state, which may be described as the modern-day price of doing business but in the end comes out of our pocket.

We have nanny-staters and leftists (but we repeat ourselves) like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer trying to spend their way into the Oval Office, while George Soros and his globalist ilk have been buying political influence for decades. Given his unmatched power over commerce and media, it bears asking whether Jeff Bezos is trying to be the next left-wing kingmaker, and whether he’s forgotten the capitalist system that made it all possible.

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