LONDON, July 27, 2011 ( – Instead of joy and congratulations, news of the birth of English celebrities David and Victoria Beckham’s healthy baby girl has sparked criticisms from the country’s environmentalists that the couple is a “bad example.”


The birth of the footballer family’s first daughter, Harper Seven Beckham, was the inspiration for a Guardian article highlighting the push by population control advocates for families to have fewer children. 

The British paper reports that Simon Ross, chief executive of Britain’s Optimum Population Trust, said that “the Beckhams, and others like London mayor Boris Johnson, are very bad role models with their large families.” Johnson also has four children.

“There’s no point in people trying to reduce their carbon emissions and then increasing them 100% by having another child,” he said. ” We need to change the incentives to make the environmental case that one or two children are fine but three or four are just being selfish.”

“We need to have a far greater public debate about population, whether it focuses on improving family planning or reducing global inequality – and looking again at how we address the strain on our natural resources,” said Green MP Caroline Lucas.

However, Larry Jacobs, the director of the pro-life World Congress of Families, congratulated the Beckhams for “giving the gift of life to another precious child.”

Jacobs said that “Groups like Optimum Population Trust play on fear and ignorance. Over-population is based on a long-discredited 1960s paradigm and Paul Ehrlich book, “The Population Bomb.”

While population control is often pushed on the premise of reducing poverty in third-world countries, the Beckhams will have little trouble financially taking on a fourth: Los Angeles Galaxy soccer player David Beckham earned $46 million in 2008, according to Forbes, and a report this year put the couple’s total worth at about $271 million, a figure that includes Mrs. Beckham’s successful fashion line.

Increasingly, however population control advocates in first-world countries are pushing families to have fewer children as a moral obligation to help preserve the environment, an argument that has gathered steam in the international community. A 2009 report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) described the growth of the population as causing humanity to approach “the brink of disaster,” thanks to the resulting increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

Others say that arguments to reduce population, such as a supposed lack of space and food or damage to the economy, are seriously misguided and only serve to cover up human rights atrocities in areas such as China under the one-child policy.

One of the most prominent of these, The Population Research Institute, has recently published a series of videos to make the case for human population growth as both sustainable by the planet and vital to economic stability.