Thursday This and That: Ellison Reveals Plans

Never mind that Your Mama blabbed it to the children about six weeks ago, it was finally reported this week by property gossips around the globe that multi-billionaire tech tycoon Larry Ellison dropped a stomach-churning $37,000,000—$36,943,890 to be exact—to acquire former Yahoo! chairman and CEO Terry Semel's kinda wacky, post-modern-minded Michael Graves-designed ocean front compound on Malibu's exclusive and sinfully expensive Carbon Beach.

But, children, as gargantuan as the nearly $37 million clams Mister Ellison dropped for his eighth house on Carbon Beach may be, it's an almost inconsequential drop in his over-flowing pecuniary bucket compared to the half a billion bucks (or more) he reportedly splashed out earlier this year to buy about 98% of Hawaiian island of Lana'i.

The property collecting bajillionaire enters the record books with a downright monumental residential property portfolio that includes more than $200,000,000 worth of prime real estate in Malibu (CA), a massive contemporary mansion in San Francisco's hoity-toity Pacific Heights 'hood and a fully-landscaped 23-acre estate in Woodside, CA, "modeled on a 16th-century Japanese emperor's residence," according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

Then, there's a sprawling, multi-residence compound on the pristine shore of Lake Tahoe, an historic mansion in blue-blooded Newport, RI that once belonged to the Astor family and a 249 acre estate in Rancho Mirage (CA) with 8 guest houses and a private 19-hole golf course. Oh, and let's not forget the recently acquired garden estate in Kyoto (Japan) that was reportedly listed for $86,000,000 or the 450-plus foot, cruise ship-like yacht co-owned by David Geffen and dubbed Rising Sun.

How-evuh—What the super-spendy media mogul might want with almost the entire island of Lana'i wasn't known...until now.

Many were concerned that Mister Ellison might try to further develop the fledgling—if quite fancy—hospitality options on the otherwise commercially undeveloped former pineapple plantation. Turns out, as he casually revealed in a recent interview on CNBC excerpted by Howzit Howard on the Hawaii New Now website, Mister Ellison actually plans to "turn Lanai into a model for sustainable enterprise" with desalinization plants, a fleet of electric cars, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal powered utilities and an extensive drip irrigation system to maximize produce exports. He went on to describe his future vision of his private island as a "laboratory for sustainability in businesses of small scale."

Well, isn't that lovely? An eco-minded gajillionaire. Or not. Listen, children, Your Mama is always happy to hear more about anybody's adoption of and commitment to sustainable energy options and practices. However—let's get real—just how committed to "green" and other eco-technologies can a man be whose "boat" has a gas tank that holds—we guesstimate based on available intel about other yachts of similar size—well in excess of 200,000 gallons and whose private golf course in Rancho Mirage surely requires a lake's worth of water to keep a deep and unnatural shade of green in a relentlesly arid locale where daily temperatures average well over 100 degrees during in the summer months?