It has been a week of controversial statements from Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. First, the self-described libertarian quickly walked back his statement that Obamacare is “like fascism,” admitting it was a “bad choice of language.” And on Friday Mackey — a longtime denier of manmade climate change — told Mother Jones that warming temperatures is “not necessarily bad”:
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. In general, most of humanity tends to flourish more when global temperatures are in a warming trend and I believe we will be able to successfully adapt to gradually rising temperatures. What I am opposed to is trying to stop virtually all economic progress because of the fear of climate change. I would hate to see billions of people condemned to remain in poverty because of climate-change fears.
Mackey makes light of a global issue that has destroyed homes, businesses, and basic resources.
The National Climate Assessment lays out how “Climate change is already affecting the American people.” It states, “Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense including heat waves, heavy downpours and in some regions floods and drought. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and Arctic sea ice are melting.” And the poor are the hardest hit by the changing climate, where cities in Mexico, Venezuela, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Phillippines are some of the most vulnerable. The Philippines, for instance, was hit by an unprecedented typhoon that killed more than 1,000 people; meanwhile, East Coast cities are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
One report estimates as many as 100 million people could die from climate change consequences by 2030.