WHOLE FOODS CEO, GLOBAL WARMING DENIER…. John Mackey, the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, raised a few eyebrows over the summer with a Wall Street Journal op-ed trashing health care reform. He equated Democratic proposals with “socialism,” all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given Whole Foods’ reputation, the right-wing missive came as something of a surprise to Mackey’s clientele, and there were various efforts to organize boycotts. In time, the controversy faded.

Nick Paumgarten’s new profile of Mackey, however, seems likely to reignite criticism. The Whole Foods CEO rejects the Keynesian economics that ended the Great Depression, admires Ayn Rand, and in a particularly interesting note, rejects the science of global warming.

One of the books on the list [of books Mackey has been reading] 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.”

Mackey, Paumgarten said, is a “right-wing hippie.”

I suspect the more progressive, engaged members of Whole Foods’ customer base will be less than pleased.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.