John Mackey on Global Warming: “no scientific consensus exists.”

Via on Jan 4, 2010

john mackey new yorker climate change global warming

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods: “No scientific consensus exists” re Climate Change.

I’ve been a big fan of Whole Foods‘s CEO John Mackey for years.

I’ve talked with him twice on behalf of my elephant journal, and he’s agreed to an interview (which would sit nicely along our “Walk the Talk Show” videos with Deepak Chopra, Michael Pollan, Dr. Andrew Weil, Alice Walker, Arianna Huffington, Amy Goodman). I’ve defended WFM and Mackey through WildOatsGate, wherein Mackey denigrated the value of his rival on an online forum (while cloaked beneath a pseudonym, and throwing in a flattering comment about his own new haircut “he looks cute!”)

I urged the FTC to stop blocking WFM’s purchase of Wild Oats—though the consolidation was sad, Whole Foods had plenty of rivals left in the mainstream grocery chains who were, even then, selling more and more organics. I posted articles re: how Whole Foods no longer deserved its moniker Whole Paycheck. I gave Mr. Mackey kudos for honesty when he railed against Whole Foods’ own offerings, calling much of their offerings “junk.” And then, in an article that sat upon the home page of Huff Post for the better part of a week (traffic Mecca of the wwworld) and was picked up by the NY Times and Atlantic, I was a lonely “green” voice defending Whole Foods against progressive cries for a boycott after Mr. Mackey took on “Obamacare,” arguing in an infamous Wall Street Journal editorial that health care was not a right.

But I’m finally losing it, and he’s finally losing me.

The below excerpt is from a riveting just-released profile in The New Yorker. It represents Mackey’s latest foot-in-mouth jaunt through self-delighted devil’s-advocate frankness:

john mackey global warming climate change

…One of the books on the list was “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming—the Missing Science,” a skeptical take on climate change. 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.”

I don’t want to be lost, Mr. Mackey. I love that a libertarian entrepreneur with guts to speak his mind, a la Apple’s Jobs, is in charge of one of the greatest green success stories since…well, ever.

Still, as Al Gore said a year or so ago, the time for argument is past. There’s a clear consensus among scientists—90% agree that Climate Change is significantly caused by human activities. 94% agree that it’s a real and present danger, not a far-off hypothetical fear for science fiction writers to have fun with.

If Climate Change were an “Evil” empire or terrorist group—and let’s not kid ourselves, it represents the possibility of a far more pervasive, lasting threat than either to all of us, and our precious economies around the earth—we’d gird ourselves for war. We wouldn’t tolerate cynics. Support the troops!, we’d cry. It’s time for that same sense of pulling-together, of focus.

It’s time to go to War against Climate Change.

And if Mr. Mackey can’t get on board by this point, he should experience a little more censure. And I say that as a fan, and without pleasure.

Bonus:

Final bonus:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Scientists Hide Global Warming Data
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

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15 Responses to “John Mackey on Global Warming: “no scientific consensus exists.””

  1. Wow, the guy just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. I have to say, I'm not sorry he got fired.

  2. Mark M
    Waylon, I am so happy that you're p'd off over this. It shouldn't take just this one issue to see the glaring trail of selfish conduct this man continues to leave behind.

    Tom F
    this makes me want to shop at whole foods again!

    Waylon Lewis
    LOL, Tom, you're far from alone, check this one out: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/12/whole-food
    about a minute ago ·

  3. Via my FB page
    Liz Brown likes this.

    Seth Braun
    You have to consider the possibility beyond emotionalized positionality. Both sides of the debate.

    Joel M
    thank you, Seth. And the biases inherent in the corporate media, as well as in the UN-paid scientists as revealed by climategate (and whitewashed by a compliant and complicit corporate media).

    Joshua
    I think there's an assumption that just because a guy starts an organic oriented grocery store chain then he must have a clue and a heart, but we know what happens when we ass-u-me something. I had the same experience a few years ago with a meeting with one of the founders of Horizon Organics. They're just entrepreneurs who dropped in early on the green-biz wave…

    Ben Wyskida
    Its not an opinion. He believes in a complete factual inaccuracy. I suppose I'm entitled to believe the world is flat, but that's not an opinion – its just me believing something that isn't true.

    The problem, of course, is that because he runs an organic grocery and a "green business," he lends some legitimacy to the dangerous and factually … See Moreinaccurate view that climate change may not be real.

    His platform – as CEO of Whole Foods – gives some cover to people who don't believe in climate change, and that's very dangerous.

  4. Joel M
    Actually, the whole issue is confused. Despite the sensationalized headline, Mackey doesn't say whatsoever that he doesn't believe in "climate change". And there isn't a climate scientist in the world who doesn't believe in it, I'd wager. What MANY climate scientists (mostly those not on the UN payroll) don't buy is the idea (falsified over and … See Moreover) that CO2 is driving climate change. The true "climate change deniers" are not the skeptics here, but the believers who have bought hook, line, and sinker, Mann's falsified "hockey stick graph", which actually DENIED the climate change of the past to give the false impression that the recent increases in temperature are not wholly natural. In reality climate change is indeed natural, and the data shows that the recent upward trend is no exception… That's what these fear mongers don't want you to understand, and it's why they've framed the debate in such a misleading way, with wholly misleading labels such as "climate change denial" for those many scientists and skeptics who CHAMPION climate change, and who are rightly skeptical of the THEORY (falsified) that CO2 is the driver.

    Ben Wyskida
    Well, clearly we're going to disagree – there is a scientific consensus, from well beyond the U.N., that CO2 is the driving force. You will never find a unanimous conclusion about anything like this, but its close. Not to sound disrespectful, but I would categorize a belief that CO2 isn't causing climate change in almost the same realm as believing the earth is flat.

    What nobody who believes its a hoax has ever been able to explain to me, though, is what's the harm in pursuing these solutions? If we made all the policy changes I wanted us to make and it turned out that I was wrong, than what we'll have done is phased out a range of pollutants and transitioned the global economy to a greener, more sustainable, healthier system. The "green" solutions to climate change have benefits well beyond just limiting C02 emissions.

    So. IM wrong = world transitions to greener, more sustainable place with all the benefits that entails. … See More

    If you're wrong, which most of the scientific community would argue that you are, than the Earth is plunged into droughts, rising sea levels, global insecurity and an avoidable famine.

    We should be transitioning to a greener, more sustainable economy regardless of what the cause of climate change might be.

    Joel M
    Science isn't about consensus. It's about prediction. And the so-called consensus is indeed debatable when it's generated exclusively by poll numbers, which have a history of being used for setting a political agenda far more often than gauging one. And the climategate report demonstrated that the main AGW proponent scientists were well aware of the failure of their models to predict the reality of our situation. That's what the "hide the decline", substituting real data for their failed proxy data, was all about. Their models failed the only test of a scientific theory, the test of prediction. And they were caught trying to hide that falsification along with attempting to hijack the peer review process to keep any challenging data out of the publications. Other than theory (falsified by reality) there is no data to show that CO2 is driving climate change. And indeed, quite the reverse when the ice core data shows the 800 year lag of CO2 behind temperature.

    Joel M
    The harm in pursuing the current solutions is that they are being funded by the globalist banking system which, on the record, has a history of attempting to put itself in the position of a global government. That's what they are using this climate catastrophe fear mongering for. The Rockefeller Bros. fund is the economic driver for the 350.org … See Moreprotests, and the Rockefellers funded the UN into existence for this purpose, to act as the front for their attempt at world government.

    The point of questioning the so-called "consensus" is to understand who is funding it, why the scientists and the corporate media is lying to the public, and what the costs of going along with their deception are. It doesn't mean NOT being proactive with limiting pollution and REAL environmental causes. It just means getting smart about who is hijacking them and why.

  5. Nathan Smith ndsmith says:

    Nice to see you gettin' props from Treehugger:

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/01/whole-foo

  6. SweetJane says:

    I agree with Joel M. that Mr. Mackey shouldn't be dismissed as a nut. Common sense and history tells us that the earth's climate has changed several times during recorded history, and obviously much of that happened prior to the Industrial Revolution. Having said that, issues such as pollution and deforestation do deserve our attention and concern, because we can control those activities. The warming or cooling of the earth is likely to happen with or without our consent.

    Also, I want to comment EJ on publishing a dialogue about Mr. Mackey, noting agreements, disagreements, and accomplishments. Unlike the totally disingenuous HuffPo, EJ clearly understands the thrill of the First Amendment!

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