In the world of social media, we can now easily see how rich people live their lives. While some keep things on the down low, others are not afraid to flaunt their wealth on Facebook, Instagram, and other popular apps.
Luckily, there are some wealthy people out there who are using their money for the betterment of the world. Just a few months ago, a Swiss billionaire pledged to donate a billion dollars towards environmental conservation efforts over the next ten years.
It is quite evident that humankind has done a terrible job of looking after the planet. We’ve torn down rainforests, polluted oceans and rivers, generated tons of non-biodegradable waste, produced mass amounts of CO2, eradicated whole species of animals and plants, and contributed extensively to global warming and the melting of polar ice caps.
Basically, we’ve messed up. And, unfortunately, very little is being done to fix that.
Writing for the New York Times, Hansjörg Wyss said that he would donate the money over the next ten years through his Wyss Foundation.
“It is the idea that wild lands and waters are best conserved not in private hands, locked behind gates, but as public national parks, wildlife refuges and marine reserves, forever open for everyone to experience and explore. The notion of holding these places in public trust was one I became deeply influenced by as a young man when I first climbed and hiked on public lands in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
Every one of us – citizens, philanthropists, business and government leaders – should be troubled by the enormous gap between how little of our natural world is currently protected and how much should be protected. It is a gap that we must urgently narrow before our human footprint consumes the earth’s remaining wild places.”
Wyss explained that, over the past two decades, he has already donated more than $450 million to help conserve nearly 40 million acres of land and water in Africa, South America, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Not only has this helped to prevent further destruction of the planet, he says, but it’s also created new jobs, attracted visitors and generated local economic growth, and endorsed sustainability in the area.
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