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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How to Soft-Sell Addiction We long ago outgrew the planet and are today watching its life-supporting ecosystems slowly crumble. But we continue to cheer on growth. Why? Part of the problem is the power of the myth of prosperity from growth. A fairly innocuous editorial in the Lansing State Journal won’t be getting much attention, except here where I am holding it up today as an example of the – often subtle – cultural programming that keeps our society addicted.  In LSJ Committed to Connecting Communities, Executive Editor Stephanie Angel writes about “the new Gannet,” parent company of the Lansing State Journal. The company’s mission,...
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How NOT to Feed the World There is no question today the wealthiest populations are wasting and consuming more than they need, while the poorest peoples get short shrift. Should we work to rectify that? Yes. Should we pretend we can be 100% successful? Probably not. Should we expect that to end hunger and poverty sustainably? No. I’m a fan of Grist, mostly because of senior editor Lisa Hymas’ bold writing a few years ago about her choice to conceive no children. The online magazine also has a well-developed conservation ethic. But today I am taking exception to Grist’s celebration of this video by Daniel Penner and Amelia Bates.  Watch...
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We Don’t Have to Destroy Human Civilization After All A group of executives, economists and politicians have apparently found a way to do what’s necessary to have a survivable climate without giving up economic growth. This is newsworthy, of course, because we’ve all been bracing for impact – since we absolutely, positively cannot give up growth. Pilita Clark brings us this news in Clean Global Economic Growth Now ‘Within Reach, published in today’s Financial Times.  “Halting global warming without denting economic growth can be done more easily than many companies and governments realise, a report from 28 chief executives, economists and political figures shows.” Our big mistake over the past...
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Cato Stands Up for Rich in Battle for What's Left One of the job requirements at the Cato Institute is faith in growth everlasting. It’s no surprise to find a commentary by Cato Senior Fellow Michael Tanner on the Wall of Shame, because one would not expect him to understand limits to growth on a finite planet. In Who Would Not Favor Economic Growth? Tanner conflates economic growth with well-being and confuses coincidence with causation. “Economic growth has benefited us all, rich and poor alike, enormously. It’s easy to forget how different life was just a century ago, when only 20 percent of American homes had electricity, life expectancy was not even 55,...
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Go All the Way if You're Going Green Samuel Alexander, Research fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at University of Melbourne, makes the Wall of Fame today, with a bullet. Kudos also to The Conversation (an impressive independent news and commentary website) for publishing his essay:  If Everyone Lived in an ‘Ecovillage’, the Earth Would Still be in Trouble I share Alexander’s curiosity and his desire to get to the truth about how we need to behave and organize society to that future generations have a shot at living decent lives on this one planet we have. “Even after five or six decades of the modern environmental movement,...
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