Dave Gardner lived a successful mainstream corporate life, but then started looking at the world around him and seeing problems mainstream society is missing. After scratching the surface, you can’t help but find our drive for growth—usually enumerated through GDP and population—at the root.
Dave created a documentary, Growthbusters, questioning growth. He’s asking the critical questions of our time that nearly everyone is ignoring, leading them to miss important issues beyond, say, just renewable energy sources or extinctions.
However strongly people believe economic and population growth is necessary for happiness, belief doesn’t make something true. A growing number of steady-state economists are showing alternatives to perpetual growth. I’m in the middle of Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen, a book describing a population stable over 200,000 years. Egypt, Greece, and Rome are like blinks of an eye in comparison, let alone the mere centuries since the Industrial Revolution.
Now Dave is creating a series of media—movies, podcast, blog, public speaking, and more—sharing how escaping the myths around growth improves your life, community, government, environment, and so on. In his words:
After a long and successful career producing and directing a PBS series and then a series of business films for Fortune 500 companies, I decided to apply my filmmaking skills to making the world a better place.
Since completion of the documentary,Â GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, Iâ€™ve been devoting more time to writing, public speaking, launching the media monitoring website,Â Growth Bias BustedÂ in 2013, and the radio series,Â Conversation EarthÂ in 2015.
We met through both writing about acting on growth and the environment, not just talking about it or telling others what to do.
Hear me on the Growthbusters podcast
Today the Growthbusters podcast features me talking about my new podcast, Leadership and the Environment, which I will launch this month. (If you don’t mind the page being in progress and the audio unedited, here’s a sneak preview of episode zero, which describes the podcast).
This conversation is different than recent ones and is part of ramping up a new focus on leadership and the environment. We touch on things I’ve only started treating here—things that are personal and that I’m passionate about—so you’ll likely hear new things first—another sneak preview!
The episode’s notes:
Is reducing child-tax credits to encourage smaller families a good idea? Can a city â€œwinâ€ the Amazon Headquarters Sweepstakes? Do undiscovered joys grace your life when you begin stepping up to trim your footprint on the planet?
The GrowthBusters team tackles these questions in the 6th episode of our GrowthBusters podcast. Tax reform bills on capitol hill today contemplate increasing the child tax credit. On on overpopulated planet, why would we want to create a greater financial incentive to have bigger families? We also consider why hundreds of cities salivate at the prospect of having the new, second Amazon headquarters in their community. The truth is most of the 50,000 jobs will go to NEW residents who move to town chasing the jobs. And the truth is that growth will cost the community much more than it will gain in tax revenue.
We address the third question with special guest Joshua Spodek, author of Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow. He shares why heâ€™s launching his new podcast, Leadership and the Environment. Plus: Kaitlyn, Ben and I discuss turning down the heat and skipping toilet flushes.
Explore all these issues further right here at www.growthbusters.org
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