GrowthBusters director insists we cannot consume our way out of recession
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Just as retailers rejoice the start of holiday shopping season, the director of a new documentary advises consumers not to shop. "Repeat after me," he counsels, "I am not a consumer, I am a human being." Dave Gardner's new film, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, skewers wealthy societies for consuming more than the Earth can sustainably provide, generation after generation. "We take for granted the energy and resources this lifestyle requires," laments Gardner.
The documentary explores cultural obsessions with consumerism and economic and population growth, and their role in today's major environmental crises. The film's premise is perpetual economic growth is impossible, and physical limits to growth are at the root of the current economic crisis. In the film, environmental author and activist Bill McKibben notes, "Human beings have used more natural resources since the end of World War II than in all of human history before." McKibben joins Jane Goodall, Dennis Meadows, William Rees, Gus Speth, Robert Engelman, Herman Daly, Juliet Schor and other respected luminaries in the film.
Holiday advertising appeared earlier than ever this year. U.S. President Barack Obama hopes to get consumers buying again. Shopping has become a patriotic duty, according to the film. Yet GrowthBusters director Gardner insists, "We cannot shop our way out of this economic crisis. It's time to realize we've outgrown the planet. The Earth is saying, 'enough.' We need to transition to a steady state economy focused on sufficiency rather than more, more, more."
Governments facing austerity measures and millions of unemployed may take exception to Gardner's assertion. More shopping, more consumption, is considered a key requisite for job creation. In GrowthBusters, Canadian economist Peter Victor, author of Managing Without Growth, suggests reduced work hours as a way to stabilize economies at sustainable rates of consumption. Gardner believes that is the only way to provide employment for everyone who needs a job in a world packed with 7 billion people.
Gardner admits this is a huge culture-shift, to stop measuring success by ever-increasing GDP, six-digit incomes, trophy homes and a new iPhone every year. "This is the biggest challenge we've ever faced," he notes, "but if we can't get unhooked from growth addiction we face likely collapse of our civilization."
GrowthBusters premiered November 2 in Washington, D.C. to a packed house. Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, declared, "This could be the most important film ever made." GrowthBusters is available directly to the public at the film's website, http://www.growthbusters.org. Sustainability advocates around the world are buying the film and organizing community screenings and house parties.
GrowthBusters is a non-profit, public education project of Citizen-Powered Media.
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SOURCE Citizen-Powered Media