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Challenge beliefs linking growth with prosperity

Challenge your beliefs linking growth with prosperity and fulfillment Saturday when filmmaker Dave Gardner presents his groundbreaking documentary Hooked On Growth Saturday, May 12 in Picton.
Gardner says the movie addresses problems society is facing because of unrelenting twin addictions to economic and population growth.
It exposes: “growth is not just good but essential” brainwashing; how the benefits of growth are mostly enjoyed by a wealthy minority while the promises to the wider public remain largely unfulfilled; the environmental costs that are conveniently ignored when measuring economic benefits, and the urgent need to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle and how community participation and human relationships play a more significant role in a fulfilling life than do consumption and the accumulation of “stuff”

The accomplished filmmaker is a central character in the movie following a similar model to that popularized by Michael Moore. Like Moore, he lightens the weight of his serious subject matter by interspersing humorous clips. His movie also presents clips from interviews with many respected experts including Paul Ehrlich (author of “The Population Bomb”), Dennis Meadows (co-author of “The Limits to Growth”), anthropologist/primatologist Jane Goodall; Bill McKibben (founder of 350.org), and ecological economist Herman Daly among many others.

In the David vs. Goliath story, Gardner shares his personal story of daring to challenge the growth-worshipping system. He is rebuked by elected officials who are deacons of the church of growth everlasting. He takes on millionaire real-estate developers enriched by public growth subsidies, and he tackles economists who spin pro-growth propaganda.
“This is like a splash of cold water to the face. It’s a wake-up call. It’s to say, ‘Hey, you know, we are in that car speeding toward that cliff. Is that really what you want to do?’ But it’s also good news. It’s good news that if we can turn the wheel and put our foot on the brake that it opens up a great world of possibilities for us to actually have more enjoyable, more fulfilling lives,” says Gardner.
GrowthBusters, producers of the documentary, weaves the tale of Gardner’s efforts to wean his hometown from growth addiction, with examination of critical global issues. Interviews with leading thinkers, animation and humorous skits debunk the “grow or die” myth. Cultural myths and taboos are exposed and explored. Providing a ray of hope, the film also profiles groups and individuals exploring alternatives and moving the world toward true sustainability.

The event, hosted by the County Sustainability Group, is set for Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Church, Picton. Admission is free of charge, but donations are welcome to help cover costs.

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