Since the onset of the industrial revolution during the 19th century, humanity has rapidly stripped the earth of its natural resources and dumped countless byproducts into our environment. While 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is real as well as man made (Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences) there is still debate as to the validity of this in the public debate. Philanthropic individuals and organizations play an important role in influencing public opinion as well as directly conserving at risk land and species in addition to fighting projects that could have disastrous environmental impact. These individuals play a major role in providing funding for environmental groups due a general lack of available government subsidies for the issue relative to subsidies provided for many other issues. (Kimble Pg. 2) These philanthropists come from varying sectors including finance, alternative energy, high technology, broadcasting, development and real estate.
In addition to the individuals that use their wealth and influence to attempt to save the environment, there are also many individuals and organizations on the other side of the issue. These individuals and organizations are not necessarily anti-environment rather they are those who have a large stake in industries like manufacturing and fossil fuel energy or those who feel that the high initial cost of changing existing infrastructure and researching new technologies are not worth the eventual gains for the environment.
Jeremy Grantham is the founder and chief investment strategist at Grantham Mayo van Otterloo, an asset management fund that manages $106bn a year for approximately 1,000 clients. He is also a founder, along with his children, of Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. This is a private foundation that is primarily funded by Grantham himself, who in 2011 “increased the fund's coffers by $46m (£30m), bringing the total to something approaching $400m (£260m), up from $106m in 2006” (The Guardian). This foundations stated goals according to its own website are
• Mission: To protect and improve the health of the global environment.
• Strategy: The Grantham Foundation seeks to raise awareness of urgent environmental issues and supports individuals and organizations working to find solutions. Our grantmaking supports communication and collaboration in environmental protection, with an emphasis on climate change.
o Communication: We focus on communications because we want the general public to better understand why environmental degradation poses grave risks and why it is imperative that we act now.
o Collaberation: We encourage organizations to collaborate with their peers in order to make efficient use of limited environmental philanthropic resources
o Climate Change: We believe that climate change represents the world’s primary environmental threat today – and that mitigating and adapting to a changing climate will lead us to a more...