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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Pro-Growth Spin on the Anthropocene Gets a Drubbing Today we give a shout-out to Ian Angus, editor of Climate and Capitalism, for heaping some well-deserved scorn on the work of the Breakthrough Institute (BTI) in Hijacking the Anthropocene. “…their literature consistently couples a professed concern for the environment with rejection of actual pro-environmental policies, on the grounds that new technology, growth and capitalism are the only solution to all environmental concerns.” BTI’s Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus give us plenty of material to disappoint, but in this essay, Angus focuses on just one shortcoming of their work: “…its attempt to hijack the Anthropocene, to misrepresent one of the most...
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Giving Up Unsustainable Growth: China China’s economic growth rate has dwarfed the rest of the world for three decades. It has pollution to match. Could this nation prove to be an exemplar of sustainable economic and environmental policy? Today I salute Chandran Nair, and Huffington Post, for raising these un-reported issues in: Is China Finally Discovering the Limits to Growth? Nair, founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow, raises some interesting points about changes planned by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his ‘Four Comprehensives,’ list of political goals for China. “If reviving "moderate prosperity" 35 years after Deng means more than just admitting that China's...
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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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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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Alperovitz: Out-of-the-Box Thinking I’m glad to give a nod today to Orion Magazine for devoting  space to The Next System Project, an initiative to “think boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic difficulties facing the United States,” launched March 31 by thought leaders Gar Alperovitz and Gus Speth. Orion editor Scott Gast helped readers learn about the project in Five Questions for Gar Alperovitz. Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as an historian, political economist, activist, writer and government official. He is widely published, and definitely smarter than the average economist. Gus Speth’s career has been no less distinguished –...
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