Jeff Bezos talks space, Blue Origin, and climate change at Amazon India event in New Delhi

He believes that climate change can be dealt with by people, all over the world, coming together taking 'collective action.'


Jeff Bezos wants his aerospace company Blue Origin to drastically reduce the cost of going to space and make space travel more accessible. He also believes that collective action can help in the mitigation of climate change.

The CEO of Amazon, Bezos, was in conversation with Amazon India chief Amit Agarwal at the Amazon SMBhav event in New Delhi.  He touched on a number of topics ranging from Amazon’s origin story to its failures and investments. But in the midst of it all, he also expressed his views on the future of space and the problem of climate change.

 Jeff Bezos talks space, Blue Origin, and climate change at Amazon India event in New Delhi

Amazon CEO Founder Jeff Bezos.

Blue origin and space

The billionaire said that Blue Origin was the product of his passion and childhood interest. He wants the aerospace company to reduce the cost of going to space and create reusable rockets that can help in doing so.

Blue Origin was founded in 2000 and it provides sub-orbital spaceflight services. Its main goal is to dramatically lower the cost of spaceflight and increase reliability.

He believes that for Earth and human beings to prosper, we should move all the polluting industries to space and use its infinite resources, leaving Earth to be solely used for residences.

He said, “In the future, hundreds of years into the future, we will move all the polluting industries to space and other planets, where we have infinite resources for all practical purposes and Earth will only be (used for) light industries and residential.”

One of Blue Origin's reusable rocket undergoing test. Image credit: Blue Origin

One of Blue Origin's reusable rocket undergoing test. Image credit: Blue Origin

“We have sent robotic probes to all planets in the solar system and this planet is the only good one. There are no other good planets in the solar systems and we have to take care of this one,” he added.

He touched on the fact that going to space is too expensive and he wants to ensure that people can have access to it. He cited the example of Facebook being built by youngsters, in their dorm rooms and has now grown into this huge conglomerate.

He said, “But we can’t do that in space. The cost of admission is too high. Those kids can’t build anything in space. To do anything interesting in space, the price tag starts in the hundreds of millions of dollars and goes up from there.”

Amazon and climate change

Agarwal asked him about his views on the future of the world with the threat of climate change looming on us. Bezos said, “You can go back 10 years, 20 years and there were people who did not believe climate change was real. But now, the people who do not believe it is real and that we as human beings are affecting the climate, the Earth, is not being realistic.”

The Amazon CEO believes that climate change can be dealt with but it will need people, all over the world, to come together and to take “collective action.” And he is positive that we will make progress in solving the problem.

He also talks about what Amazon is doing, in its own way, to ensure they are being more conscious about their carbon footprint.

The following are the steps Bezos said that Amazon has taken:

  • He said that Amazon has taken a ‘Climate pledge’ to reach the goals of the Paris accord, 10 years early.
  • Amazon will be a 100 percent sustainable electricity user by 2030.
  • It has acquired 1,00,000 electric vehicles.
  • Bezos, using his own connection, is also trying to get the CEOs of other companies to take the climate pledge and do some similar things.
  • In India, Amazon will eliminate all plastic in the next six months, by June 2020.

Amazon and plastic

The convenience, speed, and savings from shopping on Amazon Prime on top of free, expedited shipping has encouraged people to shop online, and more often. Faster than regular shipping times means that packages are packed keeping speed in mind and not the environment. More cars and trucks are required to deliver oversized packages and containers.

Amazon's packaging adds a considerable amount of cardboard to landfills worldwide.

Amazon's packaging adds a considerable amount of cardboard to landfills worldwide.

And that’s on top of the packaging waste Amazon currently uses. Researchers have found that it is adding more congestion to our cities, pollutants to our air, and adding a considerable amount of cardboard to landfills worldwide.

That said, e-commerce could be improved considerably to benefit the planet if the entire chain is optimised. While Amazon plans to phase out all the plastic, only time and actual action will tell if Amazon and its CEO actually are doing their bit to reduce their carbon footprint and provide its customers with a sustainable, environmentally-sound e-commerce service.

He ended it by saying, “We only have one planet, we all share it; we only have one atmosphere and we all share it; there is only one set of oceans, we all share it.”

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