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Who Ya Gonna Call?

If you suspect paranormal activity in your neighborhood, call the Ghostbusters. But what if the kind of activity disturbing your peace is growth mania? Who can you call?

I was inspired over the weekend. My wife and I went to see the new Ghostbusters: Answer the Call movie, and it exceeded my expectations. I’d heard a humdrum review on NPR on Friday so my expectations were low. But 32 years after Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd first splashed the silver screen with their proton beams, it was fun to see the women kick ghost butt. The third film in the Ghostbusters franchise has been long anticipated – script rewrite after rewrite, Bill Murray in, Bill Murray out.

GhostBusters Ladies

Applause to Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones, who are now lighting up the screen with comic talent in the new Ghostbusters movie. I approve! Tip: don’t leave the theatre until the credits have completely finished.

After seeing the film, I did, out of curiosity, read one of the negative (non-professional) reviews. I found it completely unconvincing. Apparently there really are some men in this modern era who still measure their worth by the size of their hands. The professional reviewers are generally giving the film good marks. You may find Online Reviews of the New ‘Ghostbusters’ are Totally Out of Whack, Thanks to Men of interest.

So, not everyone is raving about it. It’s a fun romp. It’s not going to change the world. If you want a film that just might, may I suggest a film whose title was inspired by the exploits of Dr. Peter Venkman and his fellow ghostbusters? GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth challenges everything we’ve come to believe about how the world works. Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich actually called me the morning after first seeing the film, and he wrote

“This could be the most important film ever made.”

Dave Gardner in GrowthBuster UniformThe Ghostbusters franchise holds a special place in my heart since it inspired some of the fun I injected into my documentary examining our obsession with growth (cities pursue population growth and celebrate new houses being built, some nations lament low fertility rates, human beings are – appropriately – called “consumers,” and the more crap we buy on Black Friday the better, and the entire world is fixated on economic growth). Since the film examines the lunacy of attempting to expand the human footprint indefinitely on a finite planet, it needed the humor. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Thus inspired over the weekend, with a grin on my face, I was moved to add another clip from GrowthBusters to our YouTube channel. This is the film’s opening.

Yes, it’s cheeky, and I’ve actually been called the Peter Venkman of the environmental movement. I’m proud of that. In spite of my outfit and backpack, GrowthBusters does dig into the most critical question ever faced by human civilization:

How do we behave on this planet if we want to stay?

We have over 150 fascinating clips about our love affair with population and economic growth on our YouTube channel. You may want to subscribe (it’s free). And you can find a playlist which includes just clips from the documentary.

If you’re just discovering GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, welcome. Yes, there are many others like you who have been wondering if we haven’t created the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme (hint: yes!). A growing number of people are waking up and questioning:

1) the physical possibility of endless growth on a finite planet


2) the belief that growth brings prosperity

I encourage you to explore the issues at, and buy or rent the film at University professors frequently show the film to their classes. Churches, schools and community groups still organize screenings. And I rarely turn down an invitation to speak on the subject.

So, the answer is yes, you can still call GrowthBusters. I continue to do everything in my power to root out and eliminate growth mythology, growth addiction and growth mania. This menace threatens our quality of life, our prosperity and the very survival of our children. I’m not going anywhere. Please join me.

Become a GrowthBuster


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And congratulations to Paul Feig and cast and crew of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.

Dave Gardner
Producer/Director, GrowthBusters

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