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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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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Brian Czechs Krugman on Limits to Growth Brian Czech is an excellent writer and a smart economist, so it’s never a surprise to find the founder of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy on the Wall of Fame. With Paul Krugman on Limits to Growth: Beware the Bathwater, Czech adds to the drubbing being administered to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for his defense of the fairy tile of growth everlasting. “…those of us who recognize limits to growth have sound science, common sense, and burgeoning evidence on our side. The same cannot be said for Krugman's opinion.” Of course, if you need the...
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Why So Hard to Question Growth? This week I’ve shared interesting writing about whether we can reasonably expect to keep growing the global economy on a finite planet. We’ve had some nonsense claiming to prove it’s possible, from Paul Krugman in the New York Times, and we’ve seen a very logical and credible rebuttal from Richard Heinberg at Post Carbon Institute. In Do We Dare to Question Economic Growth, UK Guardian blogger Warwick Smith, an Australian research economist, has added to the debate with another angle: “The endless pursuit of economic growth is making us unhappy and risks destroying the Earth’s capacity to sustain us. The good news is that...
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Heinberg: The Limits of Hubris Yesterday I provided links to the first few skirmishes in an ongoing debate between a pro-growth economist and a group of scientists and other realists who understand there are true limits to growth. Krugman’s latest on the subject, Slow Steaming and the Supposed Limits to Growth, earned its rightful place on the Wall of Shame yesterday. Today I salute Richard Heinberg on the Wall of Fame, for his response, Paul Krugman and the Limits of Hubris. I love it for its entertainment value, because Krugman really begged for a sound drubbing. But it’s a worthwhile read for many other reasons. “It’s interesting...
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Economists Are Blind to the Limits of Growth Bloomberg is one big conglomerate focused on growth. The company provides data to help investors grow the value of their portfolios, and economic and business growth are routine topics on Bloomberg’s business news network. While it is rare, it does happen that Bloomberg occasionally publishes something that questions growth. This commentary by physicist and Bloomberg View columnist Mark Buchanan takes (most) economists to task for their uncritical quest for neverending economic growth. “For all their calculating nature, economists are surprisingly optimistic about humanity's ability to have as much prosperity as it wants. Express concern about the negative impact of excessive growth on our...
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Climate Change Solution in Women's Bodies Some of the best writing about family planning intersects linking climate change with population growth to form today’s very worthy honoree on the Wall of Fame. Author and psychologist Valerie Tarico’s recent commentary at AlterNet is eloquent, compassionate, informed and accurate. Don’t miss this one. Tarico begins with the little-discussed fact that bringing population growth to an end sooner will provide significant carbon reduction (at a lower cost than tech solutions, she adds): “The Aspen Institute has estimated that voluntary family planning for all who want it could provide 8-15 percent of needed carbon reductions.”  Then she sets up the rest of...
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