The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Climate Change:
Billionaires to the Rescue?
Not Quite

Oct 28, 2019

Last month Caltech, a major research university on the West Coast, received the biggest donation in its history. Billionaires Stewart and Lydia Resnick pledged Caltech a gift of 750 million dollars—which is also the second largest gift ever to a university in the U.S.

Coming on the heels of worldwide protests at world governments’ inaction in the face of climate change, the Resnicks said they wanted to help climate research and the effort for “environmental sustainability” with this donation.

How do they have the money to donate? Well, the Resnicks would certainly not have amassed an estimated 9 billion dollars if they hadn’t focused on profitmaking at the expense of everything else, including the environment.

Look at the Resnicks’ main line of business, for example. Their Wonderful Company is the world’s largest almond and pistachio grower. And almonds and pistachios need more water than almost every other plant—a permanent, uninterrupted supply of large amounts of water—to the detriment of other agricultural areas and fisheries, as environmentalists have long decried.

So how does all that water come to the Resnick’s more than 65,000 acres of almond and pistachio orchards? A big part of it comes from the Kern Water Bank, a system of aqueducts, pumping stations and power plants, which distributes water from rivers in Northern California to other parts of the state. Built through state bonds and originally called the State Water Project, the system was turned over in 1995 to Kern County water authorities, who, in turn, quickly handed it over to a consortium of companies, including Westside Mutual Water Co., owned by ... [you guessed it] the Resnicks!

Is it a coincidence that some of the Resnicks’ big donations have gone to the Democratic Party, which has run California for a long, long time?

No, don’t look to the Resnicks or any other billionaires to help solve the climate crisis. They make their huge fortunes by being some of the biggest contributors to climate change and other environmental problems.