Nice round numbers

Jeff Bezos commits a heck of a lot of money to fight climate change. Plus, you guys are really nice. And, 7 other things worth a click.

I've been noticing some nice, “round number” anniversaries recently in the worlds I write about—especially the "big entrepreneurship, icon-type people" worlds.

Last month, for example, I jumped all over the significance of the 20th anniversary of when Bill Gates both stepped down as CEO of Microsoft.

This coincided basically with when he put $5 billion into the newly formed Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to jumpstart his future career as an international philanthropist.

Also, I've had my eye on July, which will mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of Amazon.com.

That date will mean that Jeff Bezos isn't just the world's richest person and the founder of Amazon; he's now also one of the longest-tenured big company CEOs in the world.

Yesterday, Bezos announced another nice, big, round number: $10 billion, which is how much he says he'll be devoting to fight climate change.

He announced the initiative on Instagram:

⁣Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet… We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. ⁣⁣⁣

I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.⁣⁣⁣

Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. 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 global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. ⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
- Jeff
February 17, 2020

The announcement comes after Bezos made news for buying a Beverly Hills estate for almost as much as he paid for The Washington Post, and as Amazon employees have been pushing the company to do more to offset its environment impact.

Bezos is worth about $130 billion, and he hasn't really been at the forefront of philanthropy to date.

His biggest previous donations were two years ago, when he and then-wife MacKenzie Bezos announced a $2 billion gift to start preschools and help homeless families.

But, as the New York Times pointed out, however, this $10 billion dedication could turn out to be the single biggest philanthropic gift in the world.


Thanks (and sorry about that)

I was a bit nervous asking people yesterday to comment on reclining seats on airlines. But afterward, a reader named Christina put it best:

"Can I just say that I enjoy Understandably's audience a ton? I'm reading through our comments and they are thoughtful, well written and balanced. What a fresh breath of air compared to some of the vulgar comments you find on Twitter..."

Seriously, thank you. Maybe everyone who has been fortunate enough to be in my position says something like this, but you're really a special group. Thanks for being a part of this.

Also, on Valentine's Day, I included a line suggesting that nobody in this audience would be able to tell me much about St. Valentine's Day.

I was wrong! I admit it! You can stop now! :)

I think my favorite reply came from a reader in Ireland who not only knew the history, but who also pointed me to the Shrine of St Valentine, Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin, where you can actually visit his remains, if you’re so inclined.

7 other things worth a click

  1. Plymouth Rock, vandalized. (Boston CBS Local)

  2. Fun fact: The Quebec pension fund now owns 20 percent of Cirque de Soleil. (Bloomberg)

  3. Apple says it won’t meet its quarterly revenue goals because of the coronavirus. (The Washington Post)

  4. The Daytona 500 ended with a fiery crash at the finish line, and driver Ryan Newman (who came in 4th) is in serious condition in a local hospital. (Fox Sports)

  5. If Tesla’s stock price stays steady for just a few more months, Elon Musk could leapfrog everyone including Jeff Bezos, to become the world’s richest person. (Yahoo Finance)

  6. Two men who spent a combined 37 years in prison for crimes they did not commit, opened a detective agency and nonprofit to try to help other inmates they believe are wrongly convicted. (Christian Science Monitor)

  7. How organs for transplant can get lost or go missing in transit. (Kaiser Health News)

Ideas and feedback actively solicited. If you haven’t subscribed, please do so! (You can also just send an email to signup@understandably.com.)

If you liked this post, please share it!

Share

One-click review and feedback:

  1. 1 star ⭐

  2. 2 stars ⭐⭐

  3. 3 stars ⭐⭐⭐

  4. 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  5. 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐