What were the arguments? Because Asia had much better starting position that Africa - thousands of years of centralized state rule, much better organized and stable governments etc. And even so it took drastic steps to prevent the worst scenario - China has adopted a strict birth control policy decades ago, whereas Africa is not even thinking about something similar - and even if it was, only few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa could enforce it. I am reasonably sure that 1st world countries can, if they decide so, reform themselves in such a way that will allow them to retain high living standards while reducing their impact on the environment to sustainable levels. The problem is that this cannot be said about the 3rd world, which is lacking even the basic prerequisites for similar development. In fact, the 1st world has already been through rapid pop. growth phase, it has been through heavy pollution phase and now, when it has accumulated enough wealth and knowledge, it can move towards sustainability. Poorer countries can't do that without first going through the bad phases, but the bad phases is what this planet can no longer afford. It's gloomy, but some countries are perhaps doomed to collapse no matter what they do.