At a time when climate change has taken the front seats in global discussion, artists and patrons are also stepping up to give their contribution to the cause. The latest addition to the list is billionaire art patrons Stewart and Lynda Resnick. The philanthropic couple donated $750 million to California Institute of Technology (also known as Caltech). The objective of the donation was to fund research that could find innovative measures to slow down and even halt climate change and other environmental issues.
The move is important also because of the criticism faced by Resnicks for their fortunes. The couple owns the Wonderful Company, which in turn own many subsidiaries. Some of these subsidiaries are under scrutiny for the damage they cause to the environment. Fiji Water, for instance, has faced strong criticism over the transportation of resources from Fiji Islands to the USA for their production. POM Wonderful has been criticized for the use of plastic in their production. Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds have been criticized for using heavy resources and thus not being sustainable crops in the long run.
The donation is the largest CalTech received in its history; it is also the second-highest given to any American university. The amount will be split in three. A new building, to be named Resnick Sustainability Resource Centre, will take $100 million. Around $250 million would be used to fund immediate research work while the remaining $400 million would be reserved for future funding of research projects. The couple has been a patron of art for a long time, so much that they appeared in 2008 ArtNews list of Top Collectors. In 2008 they gave $45 million to LA Country Museum of Art and $30 million in 2018 to Hammer Museum.