John Mackey, the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, has described climate change as “perfectly natural and not necessarily bad”.
Speaking to the Mother Jones website, the head of the US natural foods supermarket chain seemed to suggest that global warming was a good thing, claiming that “most of humanity tends to flourish more when global temperatures are in a warming trend”.
Mackey said he is not afraid of climate change, but rather regulation or intervention to prevent it. “What I am opposed to is trying to stop virtually all economic progress because of the fear of climate change,” he said. “I would hate to see billions of people condemned to remain in poverty because of climate change fears.”
He adds: “Contrary to what has been written about me I am not a ‘climate-change skeptic’. 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.”
This isn’t the first time Mackey has spoken controversially about climate change. In 2010, Mackey told the New Yorker that he agrees with the assertion that “no scientific consensus exists” regarding the causes of climate change. “It would be a pity to allow hysteria about global warming [to cause us] to raise taxes and increase regulation, and in turn, lower our standard of living and lead to an increase in poverty,” he said.
Mackey co-founded his first health food store, SaferWay, in Austin, Texas in 1978. Two years later, the business was merged with Clarksville Natural Grocery and shortly after renamed Whole Foods.