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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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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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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