The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Amazon:
Top Dog in Profit ... and Pollution

Jan 6, 2020

Amazon builds its giant warehouses near working-class communities, where jobs often simply don’t exist, or don’t pay enough for a worker to live on—thus making it easier for Amazon to find warehouse workers. Besides the back-breaking, low-wage work, there is another price people living in those areas pay: the noise and pollution that Amazon’s cargo airplanes and trucks produce.

In California’s Inland Empire, for example, every day more than 20,000 diesel trucks carry merchandise to the 21 Amazon warehouses in the area. In 2019 alone, the nearby city of San Bernardino has experienced 102 bad-air days.

As for airplanes, in 2018 Amazon’s cargo flights in and out of airports in Riverside and San Bernardino counties released an estimated 620,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. And Amazon is expected to build a huge air hub, called the “Eastgate Air Cargo Logistic Center,” which would add more than 20 cargo flights and 7,500 vehicle trips daily, 500 of them by trucks, to this already heavily polluted area.

This pollution, which causes all kinds of chronic, life-long health problems in the region’s residents, is one of the ways in which working-class people pay for Amazon’s enormous profits.