What is Pro-Growth Bias?

Pro-Growth Bias is reflected in the media by the stories and words chosen, which hint and often trumpet that economic, population, and consumption growth is good and essential. We're here to expose the bias and encourage more balanced and thoughtful journalism. Here you can vote, discuss, and even post stories exemplifying the bias.

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Recent Stories

Posted by on in Wall of Fame
Overpopulation: The Real Story I get the occasional email from Paul Ehrlich, the Stanford Biologist famous for penning, with his wife Anne, The Population Bomb, and for never giving up his quest to inspire rational thinking and behavior about sustainability. Paul alerted me to this extraordinary bit of reporting on the overpopulation issue: ENVIRONMENTALISM’S DIRTY SECRET It's a lousy title, implying the piece will be about something nefarious. But perhaps it attracted some readers who would have otherwise given it a pass. Paul’s comment on the piece itself was: “Not too bad from my purely unprejudiced viewpoint.” That great sense of humor is just one...
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Earth Day: Is Ending Overpopulation Possible? I’m going to be generous today and celebrate Nick Stockton of Wired magazine for writing about world overpopulation on Earth Day. The headline alone is worthy of high praise: The Biggest Threat to the Earth? We Have Too Many Kids This topic is still so taboo even a poorly sourced story gets Wall of Fame status (more about that sourcing in a moment). “TODAY IS EARTH Day…. There will be speeches about sustainability, discussions about air quality, and pamphlets on how to reduce your carbon footprint. You might even learn how to help save some sub-Saharan elephants, but nobody will be addressing...
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We Made This After two egregious examples this week of pro-growth bias in the media, it is my pleasure to honor on the Wall of Fame this poignant film from the Population Media Center: This five-minute video combines great words with stunning photographs. The narration reminds us: “The first people were deeply connected with the natural world.” Of course, over the course of human history, while a few things went right, an awful lot went terribly wrong. “…until the land, conquered by his will, became unrecognizable.” The images in this video offer a clear testament to this. The photographs are from the new book, Overdevelopment,...
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Posted by on in Wall of Shame
Sanford: Growth Mythology on Parade Yesterday the Wall of Shame spotlighted particularly biased reporting by an Australian journalist, celebrating without question the economic, population and consumption growth of the state of New South Wales. Today I’m featuring the words of a community leader and policymaker in the city of Sanford, North Carolina. The Sanford Herald recently ran this letter from Richard Hayes, a former county commissioner: Sanford Must Summon Courage to Overcome Obstacles The letter’s first paragraph contains all the usual suspects in growth mythology (I’ve underlined the culprits): “The Sanford Herald has pinpointed various activities Sanford leaders have planned to ensure quality economic growth and to...
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Posted by on in Wall of Shame
NSW Winning Race to Collapse Class is now in session. We have an over-the-top illustration of extreme pro-growth bias in news reporting. The first hint of this came from the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald: Surging NSW Ensconced as Number One State, WA Slips Ranking cities or states according to population or economic growth may seem a small thing in terms of bias, but the public sees this over and over and over again. By the time you’re 30 years old, you’re convinced the fastest growing are at the top of the heap, and the slowest growing, or the contracting, are losing the race. Let me...
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