Instead of putting billions of dollars into space tourism for the chosen few, think of what that money could have done in saving our climate and helping the poor and suffering in the world. One can have nothing but contempt for these super-rich ego-boosting ethical morons. And as if this wasn’t enough, we have a totally uncritical media reporting on the events. What a disgrace!
— Lars Syll, “While the Global Super-Rich Are Taking Joyrides in Space.” Real-World Economics Review Blog, 22 July 2021, https://rwer.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/while-the-global-super-rich-are-taking-joyrides-in-space/.
September 28, 2021: Elon Musk says he's sending Jeff Bezos a silver medal and a 'giant statue' of the number 2 after surpassing him again to become the world's richest person1 — Yahoo News! headline, 9/29/2021
. . . [T]hese shrines to excess capital exist in a conditional state of visibility: they are meant to be unmistakable to a slender stratum of society—and all but unseen by everyone else. Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the yachting community was straining to manage its reputation as a gusher of carbon emissions (one well-stocked diesel yacht is estimated to produce as much greenhouse gas as fifteen hundred passenger cars), not to mention the fact that the world of white boats is overwhelmingly white. In a candid aside to a French documentarian, the American yachtsman Bill Duker said, “If the rest of the world learns what it’s like to live on a yacht like this, they’re gonna bring back the guillotine.” The Dutch press recently reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was building a sailing yacht so tall that the city of Rotterdam might temporarily dismantle a bridge that had survived the Nazis in order to let the boat pass to the open sea. Rotterdammers were not pleased. On Facebook, a local man urged people to “take a box of rotten eggs with you and let’s throw them en masse at Jeff’s superyacht when it sails through.” At least thirteen thousand people expressed interest. Amid the uproar, a deputy mayor announced that the dismantling plan had been abandoned “for the time being.” (Bezos modelled his yacht partly on one owned by his friend Barry Diller, who has hosted him many times. The appreciation eventually extended to personnel, and Bezos hired one of Diller’s captains.)
Osnos, Evan. “The Haves and the Have-Yachts.” The New Yorker, 18 July 2022. www.newyorker.com, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/07/25/the-haves-and-the-have-yachts.