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  • Whole Foods CEO: From Health Care to Climate Change

    Whole Foods Market

    John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, really made a name for himself when his op-ed, “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare“, ran in the Wall Street Journal last summer. In the latest issue of the New Yorker, Nick Paumgarten profiles Mackey and his ideas of “conscious capitalism.” When asked what Mackey was reading,

    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.”

    Coincidentally, in a new survey of small and independent business owners by the National Federation of Independent Business found that while the single largest problem that small business owners said they faced was poor sales, the second and third largest were taxes and regulation, respectively. The prospects for cap and trade legislation, a historic new tax on energy if enacted, are in question but certainly not out of the question. More alarming for businesses should be the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issuing an endangerment finding that says greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, are a threat to human health and the environment.

    For any business, the EPA’s decision spells unprecedented top down regulation that will undoubtedly slow economic growth. One White House official recently said of the way EPA will regulate: “[I]t is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

    The way the Clean Air Act is written small businesses and just about everything that emits carbon dioxide, including your lawnmower, could be regulated. But to prevent this, the EPA writes “>proposed a tailoring rule to change the threshold from 250 tons to 25,000 tons as a means to provide “regulatory relief for smaller GHG emission sources and for permitting authorities.” But small businesses aren’t off the hook yet writes the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel:

    This is where green groups come in. The tailoring rule “invites suits,” says Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), who has emerged as a top Senate watchdog of EPA actions. Talk of business litigation aside, Mr. Barrasso sees “most of the lawsuits coming from the environmental groups” who want to force the EPA to regulate everything. The agency is going to get hit from all directions. Even if these outsiders don’t win their suits, they have the ability to twist up the regulations for a while.”

    As Mackey warns, the higher energy prices, compliance costs of new regulations, and the litigation nightmares will lower our standard of living. One thing he forgot to mention is that these new energy taxes and regulations won’t do anything to reduce the earth’s temperature and reducing our economic prosperity cripples our ability to tackle real environmental problems.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Whole Foods CEO: From Health Care to Climate Change

    1. Kit Parks, NC says:

      The way I understand it, the EPA is not allowed to write legislation, so how would they be able to instigate a 'tailoring rule'? The best idea I've heard would be for Congress to make an addendum to the Clean Air Act which would exempt greenhouse gases altogether. Carbon is life: the thought of the EPA regulating carbon and calling it a threat to humans is not only absurd, but scary. It's just another backdoor way for the government to control our lives.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      I just happened to see John Stossel last night. Didn't even know he had his own show. But it was a conference with Mr. Mackey, an opposer who showed true weakness and some of his employees and others.

      I hope I am not out of line to say how much I truly admire the heart and mind of this outstanding American, Mr. Mackey, who protects those he employees!

      Personal responsibility is where government shouldn't intervene. Or regarding the MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING environment scheme, as the mind-set of government is to fill in dollar amounts, not safety concerns of their own FICTION.

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    4. Spiker-USA says:

      It is very amusing to think about all the far lefties shopping at Whole Foods with their "think globally, act locally" enviro-nut tshirts on, buying their $20.00/lb. organic veggies and imagining that surely Whole Foods must be on board with all of their craziness.

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    6. xqqme, Salem OR says:

      First, we had too many unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide… the fix? Catalytic converters on every car that reduced that stuff to carbon-dioxide and water.

      Now, too high a concentration of either will kill you, but both are absolutely necessary to life on earth. Without carbon-dioxide and water, we'd all be dead.

      Increase CO2 concentrations, and plant life does better… and I thought that was one of the goals of the "green" movement. Plus, the primary driver of the earth's temperature is that nuclear furnace 93 million miles away, over which we have absolutely no control whatsoever.

      Out here in Oregon, land use controls have multiplied in my lifetime, forcing development of homes onto smaller and smaller lots. It is not uncommon for cities to mandate average densities of 10 housing units per acre. Then, when there isn't space for yards, they force developers to set aside "green space"… why not let each homeowner have their own yard? Is it because the environmental movement isn't really about making life better, but controlling society.

      I prefer freedom: not just for myself but for others. As long as my acts don't infringe on the freedom of others or cause them demonstrable harm, why is that so bad?

    7. RationalGeezer, Texa says:

      Does anyone realize the obstacles that John Mackey had to overcome in order to become an outstanding entrepreneur?

      In the first place, he founded Whole Foods in Austin, TX, a center of communism, Democrat treason, union goonism, general anarchy, and environmental nutism, a combination and degree possibly unequaled anywhere on the planet.

      Second, he successfully attracted these communists, traitors, goonions, anarchists, and environuts to comprise a large, perhaps the greatest, share of his customer base.

      Finally, he openly expresses utter sanity in his anti-global warmism, anti-unionism, and anti-ObamaCare positions.

      Stock price of Whole Foods has sky-rocketed since he began his anti-ObamaCare articles and interviews, while his customer base in Austin fumes and threatens boycotts.

      Having successfully attracted such a group of customers over period of several years while holding views with which many, perhaps most, of his activist customers violently disagree is a wonder of deception.

      If the Whole Food thing doesn't work out for Mr. Mackey, perhaps the CIA would be interested in his skills in deception and undercover operations.

      Biden for President. Remove the usurper. Stupidity is better than evil.


    8. Steven, Bellevue Neb says:

      I really like Whole Foods I have been a customer for many years in many states and London England. I am not a lefty and I don't waste money on over priced products no matter who sells them. I buy their home brand when on sale because I not only enjoy a bargain I am also a sensible shopper. I shop at Whole Foods because I enjoy their store, like their products, trust what they sell and just plain prefer their store over any other grocery chain. Whole Foods and other such vendors may present a lefty image but they are a high end food store thus have many upper class customers but to assume that all who have money are of leftist ideology in pure poppycock…Way to go Mr. Mackey you have the "RIGHT" idea…

    9. Jennifer, Washington says:

      I am also a Whole Foods shopper and always enjoying shopping in their stores. Very happy to hear that the CEO of Whole Foods is not a liberal like his customers — he's just an entrepreneur taking advantage of a healthy market!

    10. Joseph Tanner Colu says:

      I stand behind this great business man 110% , I bet the liberals would be ticked if he decided to close all his stores! I wouldn't blame him if he did.

      I wonder how the EPA would have handled the ten of millions of buffalo that used to roam this country?? Let me guess they probably used self control!

      These evironmentalists are nuts!

    11. Pingback: "Top Ten Reasons Why It's Silly to Boycott Whole Foods." | elephant journal

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