Class Warfare Blog

November 27, 2020

Saving

Filed under: Culture,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 9:34 am
Tags: , ,

Last night I watched the NOVA episode “Saving Notre Dame.” This was a progress report on the efforts so far to restore the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris that had a devastating fire in 2019.

The effort, time, and money being spent were all stupendous. For example, did you know that there were people whose job description was “Glass Conservation Scientists?” There were those involved as well as a great many other scientific specialties I knew nothing about. This particular specialist determined, through experimentation, how many wipes with a cotton ball were needed to remove the toxic lead dust, from the burning of the lead roofing materials and were deposited on tens of thousands of square feet of stained glass windows. Apparently inquiring minds wanted to know. Their argument is too few wipes left behind a toxic residue, too many wipes wasted time, money, and effort.

There were also wood conservation specialists. The roof of the building was supported by an intricate wood structure, most of which burned and tumbled down. Luckily they had a recent set of architectural drawings of the roof’s support structure . . . and a digit laser scan made very recently to inform them how to reconstruct that framework. That did not stop them from collecting all of the charred wooden remains (made extremely difficult by the possibility of the edifice collapsing when collecting them), cataloging them, and using whatever information that effort could supply.

This was fascinating work, but. . . .

This is just a building. Millions of work hours, millions of francs/euros, and sizeable portions of professional lives will be spent in this effort. But, this is just a building.

What if we were to take climate change as seriously? What if we were to take childhood hunger so seriously? What if we expended such efforts to solve real problems?

Just as Americans respond to disasters most generously, but won’t spend a dime to prevent such problems, we seem incapable of marshalling such efforts without something disastrous to act as a focus.

It is sad.

Instead of doing things that need doing, we are consumed by doing things that make people even more ridiculously rich than they were before. Apparently Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon.com, has added $70,000,000,000 to his already “richest man in the world” level of wealth, just since the pandemic began. Is that really a goal we want to support, when there are many more worthy goals clearly visible?

I repeat a simple fact, if you were to spend money every working day for a year, to spend a billion dollars you would have to spend $532,000 per hour of each of those working days. A billion dollars is a ridiculous amount of money. And instead of addressing real, existential problems of humanity, we are making billionaires instead.

The problem of capitalism is that there are no controls upon greed.

5 Comments »

  1. Speaking of Bezos … I would really like to stop contributing to his insane wealth, but Amazon is soooo easy to order from and has soooo many items to choose from when you’re looking for something specific. What to do … what to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — November 27, 2020 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

    • I, too, am hypocritsih. I do not shop at WalMart or Target because of the way they treat their workers. I should be doing the same to Amazon, yet I still buy through them … .

      On Fri, Nov 27, 2020 at 1:58 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2020 @ 9:39 pm | Reply

  2. But then there’s this….from NYT

    SEATTLE — Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and the world’s richest man, said on Monday that he was committing $10 billion to address the climate crisis in a new initiative he called the Bezos Earth Fund.

    The effort will fund scientists, activists and nongovernmental organizations, he said in a post on Instagram. Mr. Bezos, who has been pushed by Amazon employees on climate issues, said he expected to start issuing grants this summer.

    “Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” he wrote. “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.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by maryplumbago — November 28, 2020 @ 11:07 am | Reply

    • I have this tiny problem. Mr. Bezos now has over 200 billion dollars of personal wealth.How he spends it is entirely up to him. I wrote about this with Bill Gates using the title “His Ideas are Worth More than Yours.” Clearly acquiring that much money out of his corporations profits indicates he was overcharging. (There is no way he would need that much to ensure his well-being, all of his families well-beings, etc. If he had only 1000 billion would he feel poor or “not filthy rich”? If not, then that 100 billion that was charged was quite unnecessary.) Consequently, by transferring money from our pockets into his, he gains control over what happens to that money and often these “charitable” donations are just cover for other “investments” that are made, for example, a la the Koch Brothers who donate money to create science content on PBS and to bribe public officials to do what they want them to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 28, 2020 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

      • Yes it’s a double edged sword…

        Like

        Comment by maryplumbago — November 28, 2020 @ 2:11 pm | Reply


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