LOS ANGELES, CA – Erin Brockovich just tweeted today, “where is the leadership?” Brockovich, the subject of a blockbuster movie two decades ago, played by Julia Roberts, has remained dedicated to the issue of the destruction of the California inland. Yet, today, blind partisans are calling her a Trumper because she is bringing up the need for accountability on an issue that has nothing to do with our former President, and rests solely on the one party state that controls water policy. On top of this, the ones in control of water, the Resnick family (Stewart and Lynda), with a net worth of $8 billion, were the first to donate to Gavin Newsom’s “No on Recall” campaign. The Resnicks are deathly afraid of a party in power change, as it threatens their wealth and power.
There’s big pharma, big tech and many other big’s that Californians rail against. But getting the least amount of airplay but perhaps the most impactful is big water. The Resnick family has controlled the state’s water contracts since the 1950’s. By holding a monopoly over these water contracts, depleting our precious water supply and having us increasingly reliant on importing water from out of state, there is no doubt that the destruction and depletion financially benefits the Resnicks but hurts the community. Even the far-left Mother Jones sees this and reports on 300 California cities that have no access to drinkable water, due to the arsenic. The residents have to use bottled water for showering and feeding their chickens. If we rightly rail against the Flint Michigan water crisis, we should be equally outraged here.
A small business like Irvine-based Sunlabs has invented a water heater with the ability to conserve water most efficiently, in line with California’s stated values of conservation and being environmentally friendly. But an honest business like this, and many other small to medium sized businesses, found that government was not willing to be a partner, due to their existing business interests and being beholden to billionaires like the Resnicks, who actually have the opposite agenda: to use more water. It is a finance play and they purposely produce the products that are most inefficient on water. The Resnicks buy and sell water contracts back to the California government, using their influence to consume more water to drive prices up higher and create man-made shortages.
The hypocrisy is most glaring and the public manipulation, most cynical. Almonds are the most water intensive crops, requiring 1.1 gallons of water for each almond, and the Resnicks spent a great amount of resources to push almonds, even though their benefits are similar to the less water-intensive oat. Nothing is worse for the environment, water and current drought problems. Creating brands like the Wonderful company, pushing pomegranate, which had shown to not have the cancer-curing benefits it claims, and most importantly almond milk, a vast marketing push to indoctrinate the public based on perceptions of healthiness, not in line with reality.
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Going a step further, the Resnicks, owner of Justin Vineyards, have actually tried to stockpile water, which is going to evaporate, in the Central Valley, by holding hostage the community’s water supply, even though grapes are not even that water intensive. So why is this massive reservoir needed, when dry farming would do the trick? Central Valley is one of the top high quality producers of pinot noir.
The Resnicks also bury their negative publicity by their generous donations to institutions like CalTech and UCLA, Stewart’s alma mater. With modern day SEO, all you find when you google them is positive coverage, which is a way of rewriting history, like the Kennedys getting into politics after years of shady business and Pablo Escobar’s kids donating to cancer causes. But a simple google search for “resnick water”, reveals articles like that of Mother Jones on their egregious use of water.
But this hypocrisy is astounding and in line with the way California Democrats have claimed the moral high ground on an issue but have done the complete opposite. It was President Richard Nixon who started the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In fact, Republicans talked about desalinization and conservation at last week’s Nixon Library gubernatorial debate. Former congressman and current gubernatorial candidate Doug Ose said, “My sisters and I grow 1,000 acres of rice. So I understand water. I understand the value of the dollar and currency exchange and who’s using the rice that comes off my fields.” If you don’t know something from the granular level, I have to question your overall expertise. Leaders should be chosen on a fuller understanding, not empty rhetoric.
Nelson Meehan from Sunlabs, says “California businesses should have the obligation to do the right thing for California.” Isn’t this the bottom line? With his business, he believes his technology for water efficiency does not get the time of day. And he feels that they are using charitable donations to give the impression they care about the environment. The institutions accepting the money have really sold out. Nelson is a moderate and actually believes that sustainable technology is the way to go, but you really have to question and audit the sustainability. In this case, the technology is cheap and sustainable, so it’s a no brainer.
If you’re a progressive liberal that cares about the issue of water and the environment, breaking up the one-party state and providing some checks and balances may go a long way to solving your biggest issues. If you care about targeting the billionaires who are actually destroying the community, it is time to look past the obvious bogeymen and audit the Resnicks.