Whole Foods CEO calls climate change ‘perfectly natural and not necessarily bad’

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, January 18, 2013 14:27 EDT
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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey speaks to Reason TV. Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.
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The CEO of Whole Foods is on a roll: less than a week after telling National Public Radio (NPR) that he thinks the Affordable Care Act is “fascism” (instead of “socialism,” as he previously described it), an interview with Mother Jones published Friday quotes him calling climate change “perfectly natural and not necessarily bad.”

“Contrary to what has been written about me I am not a ‘climate-change skeptic,’” John Macky reportedly said. “Climate change is clearly occurring, and based on what I have read global temperatures have increased about 1.5 degrees Celsius over the past 150 years. We’ve been in a gradual warming trend since the ending of the ‘Little Ice Age’ in about 1870, and climate change is perfectly natural and not necessarily bad.”

Mackey said that he believes humanity will “adapt” to climate change, and possibly even thrive. “What I am opposed to is trying to stop virtually all economic progress because of the fear of climate change,” he added. “I would hate to see billions of people condemned to remain in poverty because of climate-change fears.”

NASA’s top climate scientist has a different view of the crisis. Dr. James Hansen has been warning for years that climate change will cause a mass extinction on Earth the likes of which humanity has not seen.

“If we continue with business as usual this century, we will drive to extinction 20 to 50 percent of the species on the planet,” he told Current TV host Eliot Spitzer last August. “We are pushing the system an order of magnitude faster than any natural changes of climate in the past.”

Despite his track record of controversial remarks, Mackey told The Huffington Post that he regretted telling NPR that he thinks health care reform is “fascism,” even though he insisted the terminology is accurate.

Then again, that might not be so unexpected coming from the guy who once compared labor unions to herpes. Building on that theme, he told Mother Jones that he believes unions are to blame for their own declining membership, saying they “need to evolve away from their adversarial tactics, and their anti-business attitude and rhetoric, if they wish to remain relevant.”

Mackey added that he believes unions are to blame for the decline of the automobile, steel and airline industries in America, along with “most unionized manufacturing.”

On the contrary, many unions point to bare-knuckle tactics used by management designed to get their way over the employees wishes, supported by states with so-called “right to work” laws that make it harder for unions to operate. Job outsourcing in particular has been a drag on unionized labor, as living wages in the U.S. are much higher than in developing nations.

Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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