Wall of Shame

Reporting & commentary that assume eternal growth is feasible, good, and necessary for prosperity

Whenever the U.S. Census Bureau releases population estimates, we see a flurry of news reports comparing the growth rates of cities or states, or comparing the recent national growth rate with prior years.  Sadly, there is a common denominator in all the reporting: every report starts with the unexamined assumption that a growing population is 1) beneficial, 2) possible, and 3) universally desired. Please let me know if you find a news report that doesn’t fit this mold; I haven’t seen a single one. The headlines often provide the first clue that these assumptions are present. Here are a few examples from last week’s flurry: NewsMax: 'Depression Demographics:' US Population Crawls to...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
6
Felony
At first it seemed daunting, choosing the most obscene example of pro-growth bias from the year’s growth pornography on the Wall of Fame. There was much to choose from. 2013 was an interesting year, particularly in the population arena. Stephen Emmott’s book, 10 Billion, and Danny Dorling’s Population 10 Billion caused a stir with their differing perspectives. Alan Weismann’s Countdown also hit the bookshelves this year, generating less controversy.  It seems Emmott and Dorling touched off a global debate about whether the world is overpopulated. Every other day there was a new opinion piece defending one view or the other. We at GrowthBusters and Growth Bias Busted were glad to see...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
1
Felony
“Crop yields to feed a growing global population may have reached a maximum in some parts of the world…” Science News from United Press International is very concerned about the future. They are worried about how we are going to feed our ever-growing population. It is a subject that is being brought up more and more and with good reason: our population has surpassed the planet’s carrying capacity. But this is never broached in the article.  The author is simply concerned that new technologies may not be enough to produce what we’ll need for an expanding population. “But since many of those technologies were one-time innovations, the projections of future yields...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
5
Felony

Posted by on in Wall of Shame
350.org leader Bill McKibben is a great communicator. His latest commentary, published in Rolling Stone, makes some excellent points, yet earns a place on our Wall of Shame today. In this commentary, McKibben laments: “By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet's biggest oil producer and Russia as the world's biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we've begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
10
Felony
When an economist weighs in on population, run for the hills. There are a few notable exceptions (Herman Daly always comes to mind), but too many economists tend to see people in the same way they appreciate drill presses and piles of coal. Today we roast this commentary in The Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia) by David Fleming, whose vision is clouded not just by an economics education, but also by his leadership of the North End Business Association in Halifax. Mr. Fleming will need a blood transfusion to get growth addiction out of his DNA.  Fleming got my immediate attention with this line: “Nova Scotia's gotten less crowded in the last...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
6
Felony

Posted by on in Wall of Shame

Granted, this video has been circulating the web for well over a month now. And my mistake for not highlighting it here earlier. But if there is ever a time to look at the manipulative powers and unsustainable practices of Toys “R” Us, the holiday shopping season is it. Many of you may have already sat there wide-eyed and slack-jawed as you watched this commercial but if you missed it, you’re in for a real treat. A production company, in collaboration with a couple youth organizations and Toys “R” Us, took a busload of adorable children on a field trip to a store owned by the nearly $14 billion company. They...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
7
Felony


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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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