Tuesday, May 07, 2013

60 Minutes on Paul Tudor Jones, Everglades Foundation founder ... by gimleteye

If you don't see the video try this link.

60 Minutes features billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and the charitable entity he started, the Robin Hood Foundation in NYC. Robin Hood serves the poor and needy through innovative programming, including charter schools seeking to transform education. In total, Jones and his board have raised over $1.2 billion for the Foundation.

Tudor Jones is also the driver and energy behind the Everglades Foundation; the primary environmental organizing force for the multi-billion dollar effort to restore America's faded River of Grass.

These days extraordinary wealth invites critical commentary. It runs along the lines from the Great Gatsby to the chasm separating the top .1 percent of earners; the widest gulf in modern times. But extraordinary wealth provides extraordinary opportunity. Tudor Jones is a rare example of wealth and intelligence applied -- over decades -- to societal problems that have resisted government solutions.

Tudor Jones -- a part-time resident of Islamorada -- was drawn to the environment through his love of fly fishing. (I am one of a handful of people who were around, in the Keys, when he first began his inquiries into the sad decline of habitats in Florida Bay.) Since that time, no other individual has contributed so many millions and so much organizational skill to the restoring the Everglades.

In the mid-1990's, Tudor Jones funded a Florida state-wide ballot initiative that succeeded in passing a constitutional amendment holding the polluters of the Everglades primarily responsible to clean up their pollution. The measure was bitterly fought by Big Sugar and, subsequently, has failed to be enacted by the Florida legislature. It has proven extraordinarily difficult to wage battle against bunkered, special interests that exert their command through legislatures, Congress, the White House and the dozens of government agencies controlled by well-financed politicians and political appointees.

This year's session of the Florida legislature, with more than fifty lobbyists for Big Sugar roaming the hallways like top predators, demonstrated the practical impossibility for visible signs of restoration -- measured by the return of wildlife in abundance to the River of Grass -- in our lifetimes. It is also a frustrating paradox that in NYC, the Robin Hood Foundation supports partnerships with industry to solve public problems but in the Everglades, trying to solve problems in a business-like way only fortifies the prerogatives of private greed.

Those bonefish, permit, tarpon and biodiversity sprung from ten thousand years of evolution. They proved our best acts are legacies of the natural world we leave for future generations. Fixing poverty in New York City is a lighter lift than returning either the wilderness, or taxpayer equity in the Everglades. For trying both -- with intense energy, focus, and financial commitment, Paul Tudor Jones earns a full measure of credit.


Anonymous said...

Paul Tudor Jones has been a brilliant investor since the early 1980's. He has recognized trends and he has built one of the most successful investment companies on the planet. Florida and the environment are lucky to have his attention and access to his largess. We hope Paul Tudor Jones can figure out a way to make the polluters pay for the damage they cause.

Anonymous said...

This dude probably donates $250 MILLION or more per year. His wife loves yoga and they love improving peoples lives.

Jullie Smith said...

Every body love his self, but love to others is quite hard and understandable. He is one of them who understand.

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Anonymous said...

Paul Tudor Jones made $100 Mil per year when he was barely 30. 20 years later he is still a world class investor. Florida is lucky to have him as an advocate. God knows our Florida environment needs saving from greedy polluters.

Anonymous said...

Last week Paul Tudor Jones raised over $80 Mil to fight poverty in NYC. Jones raised this in one night at a fundraiser. Jones got 5,000 people to show up and they opened their wallets. The Robin Hood Foundation. Google it.