Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Also a Global Warming Denier

Mon, 2010-01-04 11:39Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Also a Global Warming Denier

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey is not only delusional about healthcare, it turns out he’s also a first rate climate change denier.

Mackey upset many Whole Foods customers, employees and shareholders last summer with his Wall Street Journal op-ed trashing President Obama’s health care reform efforts.  Now he’s back with a new bone to pick – “hysteria about global warming,” will “raise taxes and increase regulation” and lead to “socialism.”  Boo!

Mackey, “a vocal libertarian, an orthodox free-marketer, an admirer of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Ayn Rand,” spoke candidly with The New Yorker’s Nick Paumgarten about his climate change denial.  Wacky Mackey reveals that one of the books on his nightstand is “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming—the Missing Science,” a skeptic screed authored by Australian climate denier (and director of three commercial mining companies) Ian Plimer


According to The New Yorker:

“Mackey told me that he agrees with the book’s assertion that, as he put it, “no scientific consensus exists” regarding the causes of climate change; he added, with a candor you could call bold or reckless, that 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.” One would imagine that, on this score, many of his customers, to say nothing of most climate scientists, might disagree. He also said, “Historically, prosperity tends to correlate to warmer temperatures.”

Paumgarten probes many of Mackey’s wacky views, and notes how the “right wing hippie” and “unrepentant foot-in-mouther” is as much a liability as an asset to the company he co-founded.  Mackey admits that many of Whole Foods’ 54,000 employees “occasionally” consider him to be “more like a crazy uncle” than his self-described title as their “daddy.”

As disturbing as those descriptions are, the “crazy uncle” one rings true.  Mackey is bizarrely candid, as evidenced by his admission to the Wall Street Journal last August that at Whole Foods, “We sell a bunch of junk.”

Climate change denial is a perfect example of the junk Mackey sells. 

Can we get a cleanup in Aisle 1 please?

Previous Comments

What would his motive be?

It seems that the Whole Foods business would flow pretty naturally with the green movement and so it seems to make little sense to alienate his basic customer base. Certainly he’s not being paid off by anyone. So I admire the fact that he stands up for what he believes rather than just going with the flow.

“What would his motive be?” He’s a Libertarian, he has the politics of a thirteen yr old.

Mackey has always been colorful, but one can not denounce the corporate governance he has provided whole foods as it has been somewhat of a minor stock market darling for a while. I’m sure his views are out of step with some of his some of his green customers as he does sell health food products, not Mcburgers. Although you can expect other Mackeys to start coming out of the closet over the next year or so. Too much hype has surrounded globalw arming and not enough reality. Unless the efforts to exagerate are not drawn back this trend will continue. over the xmas break I have noticed that Danielle Smith of the Wildrose party has made a few statements denouncing the science behind global warming.

I didnt believe anyone would take Rand s “philosophy” seriously even when I encountered her in college.

Short summary: You have a positive moral duty to be selfish and if you are a creative genius no rules should apply to you because the world cannot do anything without you.

Come to thing of it, all those “indispensable” idiots on Wall Street who played a near-Ponzi game with “complex derivative objects” divided into “tranches” and believed house prices would never drop no matter how far out of proportion monthly income got to monthly mortages may have believed in Ayn.

Another Rand rant. Sorry

This often-repeated rhetoric, that taking action to deal with climate change will cripple the economy, is such bs. A few weeks ago I organized a panel discussion and one of the points we covered was this exact issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt6wa0fzoRI

This is an important message to get out there: that climate change actually presents a huge economic opportunity. I think that more people will be willing to reconsider the science of climate change if they can be persuaded that their standard of living will not be affected - likely even improved.

http://www.thegwpf.org/news/364-green-britain-faces-energy-nightmare.html

Daily Mail: Household gas and electricity bills are expected to rocket fourfold to nearly £5,000 a year by the end of the decade to meet Government-imposed green targets. And the price heavy industry will have to pay by 2020 is so high that energy-dependent firms could be wiped out, causing thousands of job losses, said an industry spokesman.

Well why don’t you show us what a “huge economice opportunity” climate change presents instead of demanding everyone elses money to do so.

As taxpayers, we pay money to maintain the system we have, and some of that goes to fossil fuel industries and ALL of the spin-off industries that are connected to it.
Every time an oil exploration project receives government funding, or tax breaks, our money is being “demanded”. Every time we keep an airline or automaker afloat, our money is being “demanded”. Every time we build a road, or repave what we already have, our money is being “demanded”–in effect, our tax dollars are subsidizing a economic model based on oil.

I don’t see green technologies “demanding” our money any more than the oil industry. Rather, I think they’d like to see similar tax breaks and incentives.

Here, I’m going to hold a panel discussion consisting of myself. You can’t raise the prices of fossil fuels to make alternatives more competitive and raise the standard of living. Let me explain further. There is no alternative energy right now, it is only a concept. Show me the solar car or show me the wind car; they do not exist. So you want to tax an already tangible source to make a non-existent source more attractive…brilliant. What about nuclear power? Why won’t you enviro-gyros endorse nuclear power?

A genius:

“Historically, prosperity tends to correlate to warmer temperatures.”

Another one:

“A warmer Canada would improve our lives in these and other ways too numerous to list. Global warming? Let’s hope so…”
Ball, T. “Warmer is better. Junk Science Week”.
Financial Post, June 15, 2006.

In other news…the economic is doing REALLY well in the Sahara.

As dhogaza observed at post 907 in the Unforced Variations thread at RealClimate:

“Libertarian philosophy is incompatible with the kind of global, cooperative action needed to reduce CO2 emissions. Libertarians confronted with the reality of global warming are faced with some bleak choices:

1. Accept the science, refuse to dump the philosophy, head explodes.

2. Accept the science, dump the philosophy, very hard to do.

3. Keep one’s libertarian philosophy intact, reject the science, requires no great personal change.

I think it’s easy to see why #3 is chosen by so many [libertarians].
It’s the path of least resistance.”

“Global cooperative action” must in reality be a concept not so much a matter of willful cooperation but rather a central authority enforcing necessary standards globally.

The authority in this case would be “science” I guess.

It’s not going to work. It just will not work. Even the phrase “global cooperative action” is out of place in a world that any reasonable person can see is just a very large and paranoid armed camp.

“science” is not a political system or a system of government. People who run governments are politicians; hopefully they are intelligent enough to listen to scientists who describe what is happening; then politicians decide how to react. This is how government works. What we need are politicians who have the wisdom and the courage to face harsh reality and deal with it.

you’re certainly not going to get political wisdom and courage.

Contemporary politicians and the entire system are not geared towards wisdom and courage. They are geared towards poll watching and working within the system that has made them what they are.

That is why we the people must pressure the politicians to do the right thing; we need to hold them accountable.

with the kind of global, cooperative action needed to reduce CO2 emissions. Libertarians confronted with the reality of global warming are faced with some bleak choices:

1. Accept the science, refuse to dump the philosophy, head explodes.

2. Accept the science, dump the philosophy, very hard to do.

3. Keep one’s libertarian philosophy intact, reject the science, requires no great personal change.

I think it’s easy to see why #3 is chosen by so many of libertartians.

It’s the path of least resistance.

(Thanks to dhogaza at comment 907 in the Unforced Variations thread at RealClimate.)

This truly gets to the nub of almost all AGW denialism…

Your presumtion that some kind of cooperative action is needed may be true but ultimately it comes down to millions of people making consumer decisions on their own to reduce c02. Oddly not much attention is given to influencing consumer behavior, just lots of PR guys trying to get their company well positioned to capitalize on carbon taxes and credits.

John MacKey has done a lot of good at his time as CEO of Whole foods. In 2008 he sent a letter to his employees stating that he was donating his stock options to charity and working for $1 a year as he had all the money he needed and was only working to improve the company, not for money. His total compensation for 2008 came to a little over 33,000 to pay for flights, meals etc… MacKey has been one of the few real role models we have in society and he is his own man, not tied to any adgenda.

He may be dismissed by some as wacky but his charitable works and self sacrifice are above many in the AGW camp like Al Gore. There is a whole constituency of people that will take his opinion more seriously than people like Mann and hansen as he has no corporate or social adgenda.

As disturbing as those descriptions are, the “crazy uncle” one rings true. Mackey is bizarrely candid, as evidenced by his admission to the Wall Street Journal last August that at Whole Foods, “We sell a bunch of junk.”

He did say he thinks we will know the truth of AGW for sure within 20 years, and that he thinks we might have a mini ice age during that time period.

I suppose you would be right if we had to take all fossil fuels offline tonight but nobody is saying that (except you). I suggest a well planned and phased approach which would replace fossil fuel technologies with alternatives as they become available and which would also see significant investment in those alternatives to speed them to market.

You are also very wrong about there not being any alternatives right now. Nearly all car makers are in the process of putting electric cars on the market and many states and countries have active wind farms, solar utilities, bio-fuel processing, geothermal…you name it. Do your research. As for nuclear: I see no reason why it shouldn’t be included in the portfolio of alternatives; it gets around the intermitency problem of wind and solar and makes for excellent base-load electricity.

I don’t recall the economy going into a recession when the world shifted from horse to gas power; why should it tank now? Like I have said before, it’s all in the details of the transition, so stop arguing that it can’t be done and start contributing something to the conversation of how it can be done while still meeting your needs.

Awesome, electric cars that get their energy from…fossil fuels. “Many states and countries have active wind farms, solar, blah blah blah.” Um, not here in the U.S. lady. And you have nobody to blame but the idiot liberals like Dianne Feinstein who cancelled 13 solar power plants in the Mojavi Desert. However, I am happy to hear you are open to nuclear power. Then, you said you didn’t recall a recession when we shifted from horse to gas power? What do you mean? Are you talking about gasoline or steam? By the way, I have done my research and the Solar Tower seems to be the best thing we can build as far as alternative energy. But as I said before, the liberals won’t let them be built.

[x]
Fracking for natural gas

“We cannot solely rely on abundant gas to solve the climate change problem. The climate change problem requires a climate change solution. Abundant gas could be great for any number of things, but it is not going to solve the climate change problem.”

This statement was made by Haewon McJeon, the lead author on a new study published last week by Nature magazine, which concluded that...

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