The threat to the environment isn't the world's birthrate
usually other people) to have fewer children. As well as not addressing the core issues relating to our economic system and pollution, such thinking is in danger of descending into state-sanctioned population control whereby what is considered an "ought" becomes a "must". See China, Vietnam, Burma etc etc
To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption. Besides, we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and “whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor”. Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life. …  Finally, we need to acknowledge that different approaches and lines of thought have emerged regarding this situation and its possible solutions.
At one extreme, we find those who doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell us that ecological problems will solve themselves simply with the application of new technology and without any need for ethical considerations or deep change. At the other extreme are those who view men and women and all their interventions as no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced and all forms of intervention prohibited. (Emphasis added)
David Attenborough, humanity is not "a plague." We have also blogged here over the last few years about the food wastage point (see