As much of the Pacific Northwest weathers a historic heatwave producing consistent, triple-digit temperatures, Amazon has decided to temporarily open up its precious, chilled and filtered air to the sweaty masses.
According to an official announcement from the City of Seattle, Amazon is converting its Amazon Meeting Center within the company’s South Lake Union campus into a 1000-person capacity cooling center for overheated pedestrians. The building, located not far from the Amazon Spheres, was previously used as a COVID-19 vaccination site earlier this year — so good on them, we guess.
The irony of all this will be lost on no one who has paid the bare minimum attention to Amazon’s dealings in recent years. Aside from the likely ridiculous amount of energy consumption required to keep its cooling center nice and frosty, Amazon’s staggeringly terrible environmental practices are directly fueling the literal fires spreading across the world right now. Additionally, Amazon has thoroughly ruined Seattle’s housing market, thus helping send local homeless population numbers skyrocketing... the same population in most desperate need of relief from 100-plus-degree temperatures. But what else do you expect from a company that now lets algorithms fire people?
The numbers are staggering — Amazon’s latest PR move comes barely a week after a damning exposé from the U.K. detailing the incomprehensible amounts of waste embedded into the company’s warehouse policies. According to anonymous sources, employees were regularly instructed to throw away un-purchased or returned-but-usable products by the hundreds of thousands, including laptops, smartphones, home goods, and more. On average, around 130,000 items were scheduled to be “destroyed” per week.
Meanwhile, Bezos plans to blast off — And what are wealth-hoarding company execs doing while the rest of us melt into a puddle and/or burst into flame? Vacationing in space, of course. If all goes as planned, Jeff Bezos will be part of a brief, 11-minute voyage to the edge of outer space next month via his own SpaceX rival, Blue Origin. Although it’s unlikely the petitions to leave him up there will amount to much, one can still hold out hope. All of this only makes sense for a man who thinks the best solution to Earth’s current environmental problems (much of his own making) is to simply go find another planet to trash?