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01/24/2013 11:07 am ET

Whole Foods CEO On Climate Change: John Mackey Says Warming Is 'Not Necessarily Bad'

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey shared his views on climate change recently, saying that he is "not a 'climate change skeptic,'" but, contrary to the scientific consensus, suggested that "climate change is perfectly natural and not necessarily bad."

Mackey, who founded the supermarket chain in 1980, told Mother Jones, "climate change is clearly occurring." He added, "What I am opposed to is trying to stop virtually all economic progress because of the fear of climate change." He suggested, "we will be able to successfully adapt to gradually rising temperatures."

Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, the Biodiversity Chair of the H. John Heinz III Center, recently explained in The New York Times, "At current global warming of 0.8-0.9 degrees [Celsius], the fingerprints of climate change can be seen virtually everywhere in nature." He believes the internationally agreed upon warming limit of two degress Celsius "is actually too much for ecosystems." Lovejoy wrote, "The Carbon Tracker organization has examined fossil-fuel investments around the world (including 1,200 new coal plants) and determined that they would lead to a 6-degree world."

Mackey later clarified his stance, telling Yahoo! Finance, "I guess my position on it is that I don't think that's that big a deal."

Climate advocacy group Forecast the Facts responded to Mackey's assertions, tweeting, "[Whole Foods] recognizes that #climate change is caused by CO2 pollution -- why doesn't CEO John Mackey?"

In his second inaugural address this week, President Obama suggested that addressing climate change is an important matter. "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

A recent study from the World Economic Forum found that "the world must spend an extra $700 billion a year" to curb climate change, reported Reuters. This figure is in addition to five trillion dollars which is projected to be spent annually on global infrastructure projects through 2020.

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