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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Drastically Declining Critical Thought in Population Reporting Last week at Growth Bias Busted was all about economic growth. It’s apparently time to turn to population growth, as the Korea JoongAng Daily got my attention with, Drastically Declining Birthrate Raises Serious Fears, a ridiculous example of “birth-dearth” fear mongering posing as a news story. “Unless Korea’s birthrate starts to increase, the population could be no more by 2750.” Reporter Ser Myo-ja was probably pressed for time, so no critical thought went into this story, and a lifetime of pro-growth programming produced this: “That prediction may sound slightly exaggerated, perhaps even fictional, but signs of a bleak future for the...
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Save Water So We Can Grow! In the arid American West, just about any idea to save water seems like a good one. I’m reminded of the Mad Magazine sticker I saw as a kid: Save Water – Shower With Your Steady This story about eliminating property taxes to conserve water introduces some interesting motives and myths to the issue. “A new report shows that the elimination of property taxes funneled to water suppliers could save significant amounts of water in the nation's second driest state and have the largest users — government and the wealthy — paying the ‘true’ cost of water." If property taxes subsidize water supply...
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Fastest Growing Cities Celebrated - No Critical Thought Today’s example of unexamined assumptions in the media about the goodness of growth is one of those very painful ones. I just want to reach out and slap Richie Bernardo for writing 2014s Fastest Growing Cities without thinking critically about the mythology it celebrates. A story like this could be approached factually, without any of the common assumptions that population growth is a wise goal for all or most cities. I look for that whenever I see a headline like this. But, sadly, that is not the case here: “Some cities have it all: the jobs, the schools, the museums, the nightlife,...
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Posted by on in Wall of Fame
What's Possible? I’m honoring on the Wall of Fame today a very inspirational short film. Narrated by Morgan Freeman and populated with footage from the world’s best filmmakers and stock footage libraries, in less than 4 minutes What’s Possible inspires us to want to make a difference. It makes you want to make the big changes necessary to leave the next generation a world worth inheriting. It is truly inspiring. The words, written by Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum), are scrumptious. The Hans Zimmer music score is spot on. Something about the film did trouble me, a little. What bothered me is...
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