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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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner

Dave is the director of the documentary GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. Dave is also president of Citizen-Powered Media, a non-profit working to find the cure to our society's growth addiction. Growth Bias Busted is one of the projects of Citizen-Powered Media's ongoing GrowthBusters public education program.

Posted by on in Wall of Fame
Nature: "You Treat Me Like Dirt" I’m excited to share with you today a series of videos that are quite impressive. These are the cornerstones of a new Nature is Speaking campaign from Conservation International. The campaign “aims to raise awareness that people need nature in order to survive.” The organization’s Humanifesto states: “Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.” The website itself is elegant and impressive. In this series of short films, “nature reveals serious misgivings about the way humans are treating the Earth.” They are beautifully produced. The writing, cinematography and music are superb. Penélope Cruz, Harrison Ford, Edward Norton, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, and Kevin...
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Posted by on in Wall of Shame
Oh, the Woes of Global Growth! Global Growth Woes Threaten to Beset U.S. Economy. This Wall Street Journal report earns a spot on the Wall of Shame as a textbook example of pro-growth bias in the media. It’s evident writers Josh Zumbrun and Nick Timiraos were suckled on the Kool-Aid of growth worship: “The specter of deflation in Europe and a slowdown in China and other emerging markets are threatening to hobble the U.S. economy at a time when the world could use a reliable growth engine.” It’s easy to think the world needs a “growth engine” when you don’t slow down and consider what year-over-year economic...
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Overpopulation and the Ostrich Factor Having begun the week with a very poor example of reporting on the population issue, it is a pleasure today to congratulate Transition Voice for publishing this commentary by Richard Reese. Overpopulation and population growth are not topics routinely seen in communication from the Transition movement. I see its presence in Transition Voice as evidence the “population taboo” is slowly breaking down. In Overpopulation and the Ostrich Factor Reese reviews the 1998 Garret Hardin book, The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia, and offers his own perspective: “We are constantly reminded that perpetual growth is the purpose of life. Grow or die! Our...
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Drastically Declining Critical Thought in Population Reporting Last week at Growth Bias Busted was all about economic growth. It’s apparently time to turn to population growth, as the Korea JoongAng Daily got my attention with, Drastically Declining Birthrate Raises Serious Fears, a ridiculous example of “birth-dearth” fear mongering posing as a news story. “Unless Korea’s birthrate starts to increase, the population could be no more by 2750.” Reporter Ser Myo-ja was probably pressed for time, so no critical thought went into this story, and a lifetime of pro-growth programming produced this: “That prediction may sound slightly exaggerated, perhaps even fictional, but signs of a bleak future for the...
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Krugman 3, Reality 6 We began the week with Paul Krugman digging himself into a hole. The New York Times columnist apparently wasn’t ready to concede after the thorough drubbing a previous pro-growth column received. So he fired another salvo in what’s become an intense ongoing public debate about limits to growth. If you’re just now exploring that debate, my critique offers a quick history and links. This debate is very good news, as it offers the public, journalists and policymakers an opportunity to discover the fact and fiction around our obsession with economic growth. Krugman’s fairy tale of growth everlasting sparked a series of...
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