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Letters to the Editor: Jeff Bezos going to space does next to nothing for humanity

Jeff Bezos, wearing a cowboy hat, poses with other members of the first manned spaceflight by his company Blue Origin.
Jeff Bezos, wearing a cowboy hat, poses near Van Horn, Texas, on Tuesday with other members of the first manned spaceflight by his company Blue Origin.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Two multibillionaires spend a fortune on 10-minute carnival thrill rides to space while California wildfires are creating their own apocalyptic weather (Nero’s Rome is burning) and human misery is widespread (Marie Antoinette’s peasants with no bread).

For a scientist who previously consulted for these billionaire ventures to suggest that a “greater cross section of people” will have access to space travel is insulting. The 1950s-style website for Club for the Future, a foundation founded by Bezos’ space-travel company Blue Origin, touts the “future of life in space” and “access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets,” not the needs of global humanity.

These billionaires’ fantasies will not save them when global heating makes space the last refuge. With today’s wealth inequality eclipsing that of the Gilded Age, the self-absorbed indulgences of the stratospherically wealthy displace government and serve as distracting entertainment for those without tickets to ride.

Gary Stewart, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: Bezos has achieved the first of his space goals, and I am happy for him.

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But when I heard him say after his flight that to save Earth’s endangered environment, he would like to move heavy industry to space, I was shocked and saddened — shocked that such a smart man would think this is a good idea, and saddened that he is giving up on Earth.

We need our billionaires to focus their energies on solving Earth’s problems, not outsourcing them.

Dennis Thompson, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Why are you applauding the exploits of Bezos and Richard Branson on the front page of your newspaper?

These billionaires are not heroes; rather, if they had any moral fiber, they would be donating their bazillions to solve serious problems with the climate, public health, infrastructure, homelessness and more.

The real heroes in this country are the medical and hospital personnel who, after 17 long months, continue risking their lives to save those with COVID-19.

Isabel Downs, Santa Barbara


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