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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Can California Innovate Past Laws of Sustainability? California’s fresh water crisis gets plenty of media attention these days. The End of California? seems worthy of our attention because of its optimism. New York Times contributor Timothy Egan has written well about this subject. His work might just as easily land on our Wall of Fame. But today I do want to put a spotlight on what I’m dropping into a very large file-drawer labeled “techno-optimism.” “California will survive. It’s not going to blow away. The economy, now on a robust rebound, is not going to collapse. There won’t be a Tom Joad load of S.U.V.s headed north. Rains, and snow...
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Sanford: Growth Mythology on Parade Yesterday the Wall of Shame spotlighted particularly biased reporting by an Australian journalist, celebrating without question the economic, population and consumption growth of the state of New South Wales. Today I’m featuring the words of a community leader and policymaker in the city of Sanford, North Carolina. The Sanford Herald recently ran this letter from Richard Hayes, a former county commissioner: Sanford Must Summon Courage to Overcome Obstacles The letter’s first paragraph contains all the usual suspects in growth mythology (I’ve underlined the culprits): “The Sanford Herald has pinpointed various activities Sanford leaders have planned to ensure quality economic growth and to...
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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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Planetary Destruction Begins at Home The Gaston Gazette’s Eric Wildstein probably grew up like most of us, reading and hearing about the joys of population and economic growth. Even if he learned that human activity on the planet is disrupting the climate, extinguishing species and liquidating natural resources, that was never considered when his hometown or state celebrated topping some list of the fastest-growing. Somehow the growth of a city, county or state has nothing to do with the overshoot of global human population. So I must resist the urge to label as clueless his recent Gazette story about population growth in North Carolina, and Gaston...
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Don’t Panic – Water Shortage a False Alarm Yesterday The Arizona Republic occupied this space with a story about Arizona communities starting to reuse their wastewater in order to provide water “for growth.” Today we stick with the same newspaper, but a different reporter. In 5 Reasons to Panic About Arizona's Water, and 5 Reasons Not To, Shaun McKinnon updates us on a flurry of media reports about the dire state of fresh water supply in Arizona, but seems intent on avoiding any interpretation of crisis. “Is Arizona really running out of water? Yes. And no. Here are five reasons why the drought should concern you and five more...
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