GrowthBusters (2011) - Plot Summary Poster



Showing all 2 items
Jump to:


  • This film asks the most critical question of our time: How do we become a sustainable civilization? It takes a unique approach among modern environmental documentaries: Rather than dispensing facts about climate change; peak energy, food and water; and biodiversity loss, it examines the cultural barriers that prevent us from acting rationally. It asks why population conversations are so difficult to have, and why a roaring economy is more important to us than a survivable planet. It looks into the psychology of denial and crowd behavior. It explores our obsession with community growth and economic growth. Hooked on Growth holds up a mirror, encouraging us to examine the beliefs and behaviors we must leave behind, and the values we need to embrace, in order that our children can survive and thrive.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • This groundbreaking documentary challenges our beliefs linking growth with prosperity and fulfillment. The film explores how our attitudes toward economic, consumption and population growth prevent rational responses to evidence we've outgrown the planet.

    In this David vs. Goliath story, filmmaker Dave Gardner is an everyman who dares challenge our 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.

    GrowthBusters weaves the tale of Gardners efforts to wean his hometown from growth addiction, with examination of the most critical global issues of our time. Interviews with leading thinkers, animation and humorous skits debunk the grow or die myth.

    The story climaxes with Gardners run for city council. His overt anti-growth platform makes even supporters squirm, the growth/prosperity link is so deeply rooted in our society. The campaign articulates an alternative vision a prosperity strategy not foolishly dependent on unsustainable and destructive growth.

    Provocative and irreverent, GrowthBusters gets away with its pull-no-punches approach because Gardner confesses hes been drinking the pro-growth Kool Aid just like everyone else.

    Providing a ray of hope, the film also profiles groups moving the world toward true sustainability. We end on a positive note, as Gardner discovers getting off the hamsterwheel of increasing production and consumption in service to a growth-obsessed system actually frees us to get back in touch with the values we treasure most.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed