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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Scientists: No Joy in Quest for Quickie A nod to Joe Bish at the Population Media Center for pointing out to us the deluge of media coverage over the past few days regarding an interesting study just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. I started out with the intention of putting all the news coverage on the Wall of Shame today, for zeroing in on a sensational statement that made an easy headline: "Our work reveals that effective family planning and reproduction education worldwide have great potential to constrain the size of the human population and alleviate pressure on resource availability over the longer term….Our...
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Posted by on in Wall of Shame
Death-Cab for Singapore Singapore’s Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) adorns our Wall of Shame this morning for demonstrating it is completely clueless about the value of calculating ecological footprint, and certainly about the meaning of the word "sustainabiity." In a news release last week the Ministry defended its poor ranking in WWF’s recently released 2014 Living Planet Report. The report ranked Singapore 7th highest global footprint per capita (the U.S. ranked 8th). This apparently rankled the bureaucrats at MEWR. On October 7 an editorial in The Real Singapore underscored the unsustainability of Singapore’s footprint. The headline alone hurt MEWR’s feelings: WWF: IF EVERYONE...
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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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Posted by on in Wall of Shame
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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