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Bezos Hits Back At Critics Who Say He Should Solve Earth’s Problems Before Colonizing Space
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Jennifer Garner, Jeff Bezos, and Lauren Sanchez attend the Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala presented by Paul Mitchell on November 13, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is clapping back at critics who have bashed him for blasting into space with his Blue Origin exploration company while ignoring the myriad problems right here on Earth.

Bezos, who has done a few jaunts as the world’s richest man, has been ripped for spending billions of dollars playing in space, but he says billionaires “need to do both, and that the two things are deeply connected.”

“We need to conserve what we still have, we need to restore what we’ve lost, we need to completely transform our food systems and grow what we need to live in a new way that doesn’t degrade the Earth,” he said at a conference in New York.

“There’s a tremendous amount to be done in the here and now and we cannot forget about that. But at the same time, in a deeply connected way, we need to look to the future.”

Bezos also claimed he is spending “even more money” to help combat climate change through his Bezos Earth Fund. But he said the two dovetail and need to be addressed together.

“This planet is so small that if we want to keep growing as a civilization using more energy as a civilization most of that in the future needs to be done off-planet,” he said.

But Bezos also drew criticism when he attended a celebrity charity and then ponied up a nickel (or what amounts to a nickel to him).

The billionaire attended a fundraising dinner at the Pacific Design Center in Hollywood on Saturday night hosted by the Los Angeles-based Baby2Baby charity, which provides diapers and basic necessities to children living in poverty.

“Bezos’ $500,000 donation, in addition to his pre-event giving, made him the single largest donor of the event,” the Daily Mail reported. But the U.K. paper noted that Bezos makes more than $140,000 per minute.

Before he joined the Billionaire’s Boys Club in space — Tesla founder Elon Musk and Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson beat him there — Bezos acknowledged that their space flights “are just joyrides.”

In an interview in July on CNN, Bezos was asked about his upcoming flight. “There have been a chorus of critics saying that these flights to space are just joyrides for the wealthy and that you should be spending your time and your money and energy trying to solve problems here on Earth. So what do you say to those critics?” asked host Rachel Crane.

“Well, I say they’re largely right. We have to do both,” Bezos said. “We have lots of problems here and now on Earth and we need to work on those, and we always need to look to the future. We’ve always done that as a species, as a civilization. We have to do both.”

Bezos defended the space flights, saying Blue Origin’s mission is about opening space travel for everyone. “If we can do that, then we’ll be building a road to space for the next generations to do amazing things there, and those amazing things will solve problems here on Earth… So, the real answer is, yes, we have to do both,” he said.

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