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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Unquestioned Booster Folklore: They are Coming; We Must Build It You know what they say, “Think globally, act locally.” While growth addiction is a global problem, it is practiced regularly at the local level. You may not know, but I say: “You can’t have a sustainable world if it’s made up of lots of communities behaving unsustainably.” That leads us to shame a story in the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported by Adam Russell. This is a textbook example of reporting founded on pro-growth assumptions (Don’t take it too hard, Adam; we’ve all been programmed from birth to believe growth is the Holy Grail. We forgive you, but we encourage you to...
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Californians Drowning in Denial My standard approach when evaluating a news story for Wall of Shame dishonor is to copy all the examples of pro-growth bias I might want to highlight. That process took quite awhile in the case of this New York Times front page story: California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth “Some studies suggest the drought is the worst in more than a thousand years.” “…until recently, it seemed that the California dream was sustainable….” What may well be the new normal for California water is raising lots of questions. “a punishing drought — and the unprecedented measures the state announced last...
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Singapore and The Australian's Shanahan Can't Drive This headline captured my attention instantly: Singapore Will Die If It Fails To Encourage Families (sorry, this is behind a paywall) This notion is so utterly ridiculous one would think there is no need to spotlight it here on the Wall of Shame where we try to debunk pro-growth mythology and propaganda to deflate its power. The sad thing is, as population growth around the world begins to slow, or in some nations even moves into contraction, stories and commentary like this are popping up faster than heads in that carnival game, Whack-a-Mole. This particular column was written by Angela Shanahan, and...
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BS from the Pope In February Vatican Radio gave us this report of Pope Francis’ latest remarks about bringing children into the world. The Catholic Church continues to play a significant role in obstructing movement toward a sustainable population. It’s not the first time the pontiff finds himself on our Wall of Shame, but I remain hopeful that this pope will ultimately shepherd Catholic doctrine into the 21st century. These words from Pope Francis earned him instant Wall of Shame status: “…a society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is...
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Economic Growth Group Draws Blueprint for Planetary Destruction 10 counties in south central Kansas, a university a think tank and a foundation share the spotlight today on the Wall of Shame. They are undertaking an effort called Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth, as reported by John Green in The Hutchinson News: Economic Growth Group to Start This story caught my eye, because the last thing a full planet needs is another “economic growth” group. But Wichita State University, several counties, the Kaufman Foundation and the Brookings Institution are apparently not up to speed. They’ve probably not read the latest Living Planet Report. They may have missed The Limits to...
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Publication of Mythology Fuels Growth Addiction After yesterday’s remarkable Al Jazeera column about the inhumane living conditions in an overpopulated country, we hop back over from Wall of Fame to Wall of Shame. Here we have another column, but this one reinforcing the myth that growth is beneficial, wonderful, universally lauded – something to be pursued and celebrated. The pro-growth propaganda begins with the headline over Charles Lawton’s column in Maine’s Portland Press Herald earlier this week: Maine’s Population Numbers Bode Well In an overpopulated country, on an overpopulated planet, such a headline could be factual if Maine’s population were dropping toward a sustainable level.  Lawton gave me...
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