Since 2012, the Harvard University endowment fund has allocated $60M to the Harvard Management Fund (HMF) to purchase ~10k acres in the Paso Robles wine region, making Harvard one of the region's top 20 investors and quite likely before long, winemakers.
Brodiaea, Inc., the HMF's wholly-owned subsidiary, purchased the land in a sweetheart deal due to the severe drought. But, Reuters discovered, HMF was dumb as a fox, having done its homework and finding that the area has some of the best groundwater in the region. Public records examined by Reuters reveal that Brodiaea secured water well drilling permits for 7, 800-foot deep water wells, just 6 days before a law banning new pumping went into effect. Those wells alone have increased the value of the property.
Looks like the Crimsons are all set to reap some tidy profits on the investment.
Yes. But, this outcome could be the result of an anti-environmental and rather unneighborly-like decision.
The problem is that those 7 wells are 2 to 3 times deeper than the average residential well. Brodiaea's water use could draw from residential wells up to ~1 mile away, thus exascerbating drought-related problems for Brodiaea's neighbors.
Susan Harvey of environmental advocacy group North County Watch has asked:
Is Harvard going to keep pumping ground water, or cut back on returns
to protect water quality and quantity?"
And there is the crux of the problem insofar as The Motley Monk is concerned.
Those who worship at the altar of environmentalism are merely asking a question, presuming Brodiaea's sensitivity to the issues of global warming, climate change, and social justice. Were those drilling the deeper wells not affiliated with Harvard University but, let's say, the Koch brothers, the stormy petrels would be amassed and protesting how knuckle-dragging, capitalist Neanderthals are exascerbating the devastating effects of global warming and climate change for the region in search of profits, not giving one whit for the area's delicate ecology or their neighbors' rights to the groundwater.
But, as long as it's Harvard University, HMF, or Brodiaea, Inc. and not the Koch brothers, there will be no protests. Why? It's all for a good cause: Funnel more $$$'s into Harvard's endowmment to promote the University's liberal agenda.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Reuters report, click on the following link: