Vittert: Billionaires show hypocrisy with climate ‘concern’

On Balance with Leland Vittert
Jeff Bezos

FILE – This Sept. 19, 2019, file photo shows Jeff Bezos speaking at the National Press Club in Washington. The Smithsonian Institution announced July 14, 2021, that Bezos, founder of Amazon and space-flight company Blue Origin, is donating $200 million to the National Air and Space Museum. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(NewsNation) — Few things motivates billionaires like money.

For example, here is how CNN tried explaining a new venture by the worlds richest men to get richer off climate change:

“A band of billionaires from Jeff Bezos to Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates is all betting that below the surface of the hills and valleys on Greenland’s Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula, there’s enough nickel, cobalt and copper to power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles.”

As if the billionaires are doing this out of the goodness of their heart. Now that the ice is melting in Greenland, the world’s billionaires will save us.  Their company’s partner Blue Jay Mining gave CNN exclusive access; what they got in return could be entered in an awards show under the informercial category.

From CNN: “They’re taking soil samples, flying helicopters with transmitters to measure the electromagnetic fields of the subsurface and map the layers of rock below. Artificial Intelligence is analyzing the data to pinpoint exactly where to drill next summer.”

Oh the excitement … the selflessness. The true desire to make humanity better is almost infectious. Until you realize the same billionaires who want us all to change our lives because of climate change also want to profit off it.

“Humanity, we’re big now, the earth is small, it’s fragile. That’s one of the things you see from space so clearly … just how fragile this planet is,” Amazon CEO and mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos said.

That’s Jeff Bezos, one of a few billionaires investing in the new project.

This is the same Jeff Bezos who owns space company Blue Origin. It sends tourists into sub orbit for a couple of hundred thousand dollars and emits about as much pollution as a person does for their entire lifetime, in nine minutes.

The same Jeff Bezos who flies around on his private jet, to his yacht. None of those activities make climate change worse.

We wouldn’t know from watching CNN. Not a thing about the billionaires financing this project, their deal, their hypocrisy or them trying to profit off the very problem they claim to be so concerned about.

No discussion of polar bears in Greenland who might be effected by the massive mining operation.
No discussion of taking minerals that should belong to the native Greenlanders.

Who is going to stick up for them? Certainly not CNN.

The climate and tax bill that the Senate just passed if it becomes law will accelerate the shift to clean energy and Greenland’s significant mineral deposits have the promise of meeting some of the world’s growing demand for these materials.

The excitement, it’s real.

Just remember … drilling for coal in West Virginia and creating high paying jobs? Well, that’s destroying the environment.

Drill for oil in northern Alaska — well, that’s not allowed as it might upset the native tribes.

Tear up Greenland searching for minerals that may or may not exist and you are climate change warriors.

Three minutes of journalism on TV and not a single line about all the issues we’ve just talked about.

We, of course, asked the CEO for an interview, but evidently, he only talks to CNN. It’s a shame, because there are some important questions here.

We don’t do media commentary here, but we do journalism.

As journalists, you follow the money.

So we have just one question: If the billionaires find gold or diamonds or, maybe oil, will they donate the proceeds to solving climate change?

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