Tuesday, October 25, 2011

GrowthBusters, "Most Important Film Ever Made," premiere Nov 2, challenges growth-at-all-costs policies

A key but little discussed aspect of the environmental threat is the ever-growing population.  Al Gore didn't mention this issue in An Inconvenient Truth perhaps because the implications of raising the high population issue is rather scary.  It's easy to do the numbers and realize that if there were fewer people alive, the environmental impact of humanity would shrink, and we wouldn't have global warming or the other environmental issues (see Arithmetic, Population and Numbers).  But the implications of that observation are really scary, because it immediately asks how do you reduce the population and all sorts of dictatorial means come to mind.

I suppose the least dictatorial means to reducing over-population is via educating the public and getting voluntary cooperation in, for example, not having children.  A new movie, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, seems aimed to do just that.

Too much consumption, too much stuff, all that stuff being built means "resources" that are "extracted" from the planet - climate disruption and economic collapse and other kinds of collapse are directly related to over-extraction of resources, straining the planet's ability to keep up.  While we can decrease consumption by being more efficient and use less resources per person, especially in rich countries like the United States.  Another way is to reduce the population.  Fewer people, fewer resources being used, smaller impact on the planet, it's really simple.

Simple, except for the question of how to implement a smaller population.  And whether it's truly necessary.  It's also possible to reduce consumption with a smaller consumption rate per person.  Business interests tend to fight this solution because it means they sell smaller quantities of stuff, and make smaller profits.  Likewise business interests want to see more people because they can sell their stuff to more people.  Part of the growth train is business interests who demand continual growth, so that their quarterly profit figures continue to increase.  But... oh, there's a rathole here of considerations, and things to ponder, and so on, so just go see the movie and see what you think.  

Trailer



GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth Trailer from Dave Gardner on Vimeo.





Controversial Documentary Challenges Policy and Perceptions as World Population Passes 7 Billion

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The provocative documentary, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, will hold its world premiere November 2 in Washington, D.C. It's released to the public worldwide the next day. World population passes 7 billion on October 31. "This could be the most important film ever made," writes Paul Ehrlich, Author of The Population Bomb.

GrowthBusters delivers a full-frontal assault on the "taboos, myths and greedy growth profiteers that keep us speeding toward a cliff," says filmmaker Dave Gardner. "Population growth is not inevitable, but it won't stop until we acknowledge its role in the major crises we face." "The scale of the human presence on Earth has reached unprecedented proportions," ecological footprint pioneer William Rees states in the film. "We've outgrown the planet."

The film also challenges the wisdom of economic growth as a public policy goal. According to Gardner, "We've been programmed from birth to believe in the pot of gold at the end of the growth rainbow, but chasing that gold has let us down. The Occupy Wall Street Movement is right to challenge this system. It is crumbling around us; it should not - and cannot - be revived."

"Continued economic and population growth are not sustainable, plain and simple," declares Gardner. "Every citizen of the planet agrees we do not want to condemn our children to lives of misery and desperation." The film demonstrates our economy would be one billion times the size it is today in just 720 years at 3% annual growth.

Gardner interviewed psychologists, physicists, ecologists, sociologists and economists to research and create GrowthBusters. It features interviews with experts like former World Bank senior economist Herman Daly and former presidential advisors Gus Speth and Robert Solow.

GrowthBusters examines the beliefs, attitudes and propaganda causing people to ignore evidence perpetual growth is not possible or desirable. Gardner calls "Worship of Growth Everlasting the most powerful and widespread religion in the world."

Gardner takes on presidents and prime ministers, economists, news media and wealthy capitalists who keep society hooked on growth. Sociologist Juliet Schor and environmental leader Bill McKibben discuss how the relentless drive to earn, spend and consume is not making people happier.

It sounds depressing, but the film is actually humorous at times and hopeful. It profiles "GrowthBusters in Action," groups and individuals pioneering new value systems and ways of life that don't depend on growth, and they seem quite happy.

Once you see this film, you'll never again view the world the same way. After its world premiere November 2 at the West End Cinema in Washington, D.C., groups and individuals will hold screenings of the film around the world.

Trailer: http://vimeo.com/30647439
Photos and Video: http://www.growthbusters.org/media-and-bloggers
Buy Film: http://www.growthbusters.org/about-2/buy-the-film/
Screening/Premiere
Info: http://www.growthbusters.org/about-2/screenings/screening-event-schedule/

http://www.growthbusters.org

World Population to Reach 7 Billion on October 31: http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/7597

Contact:

Rick DeHoff, Grey Stone Media
888 777 0111 x7
rick.dehoff@greystonemedia.org

Dave Gardner, Citizen-Powered Media
719-576-5565 (office/cell/all hours)
dave@growthbusters.org

SOURCE Citizen-Powered Media