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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Victim of Abuse: Sustainability Today’s honoree on the Wall of Fame includes the best definition of sustainability I’ve seen. In True Sustainability, a commentary published in The Vermont Journalism Trust’s VTDigger, George Plumb importantly tackles the misuse of the term, “sustainability.” “Much of what is professed to be sustainable is not truly sustainable. Is industrial farming that depends heavily on fossil fuels really sustainable? Is constructing and maintaining large buildings that have huge ecological footprints really sustainable no matter how well constructed or where they are located? Is there really such a thing as sustainable economic development or sustainable population growth?” Plumb, who is executive...
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Loony Reasons to Make More Babies Why do we need our economy to grow? This is a question never asked in mainstream media – and rarely asked anywhere. Matt Phillips chose a different question in a piece for Quartz: Women are Going to Save Japan His first paragraph guaranteed this report a place on our Wall of Shame: "Why do economies grow? It’s a simple recipe, actually. Add rising labor productivity—total output per worker—to an increase in the number of people working, or some combination of the two. Shake vigorously. Voilà. But it’s easier said than done, especially for countries like Japan where populations are stagnant or...
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We Made This The scale of the human enterprise on planet Earth is so vast, so significant, that you can watch it from space. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video worth – what, 10,000? Our thanks go out to news website Vox.com for publishing 5 Human Activities You Can See from Space. This generated widespread mention by news organizations and aggregators. This is just one small glimpse of why scientists are likely to officially declare we are in a new epoch, the Anthropocene (a period in which many geologically significant conditions and processes are profoundly altered by human activities). Don’t let...
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California Dreaming of Water for Infinite Growth The California water crisis offers a textbook example of how destructive and irrational is our obsession with economic growth. Erik Alm gets a nod today for writing what I’ve been thinking. I frequently highlight The Daly News from the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) as outstanding writing about growth issues. Last week the publication did not disappoint. “…What will it take to catalyze the shift to an economic state that respects our natural boundaries? Perhaps the catalyst could be a life-altering dearth of a critical resource that, until recently, most of us in the United States have taken...
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St. George Ranks High for Unsustainability The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lands on our Wall of Shame today for a celebration of all things unsustainable in Is Silicon Valley’s Future In St. George, Utah? “St. George is a formidable urban center on its own. This is reflected in the latest population figures released for the St. George metropolitan area, which…ranked among the fastest-growing areas in the country.” Until we get over “ranking” cities for population growth (and putting the fastest growing at the TOP of the rankings), we will be stuck in the 20th century settle-the-wild-frontier mindset that population growth is something to pursue and celebrate. Not a...
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