"As long as there's one breeding couple," [Les Knight, founder of VHEM] says cheerfully, "we're in danger of being right back here again. Wherever humans live, not much else lives. It isn't that we're evil and want to kill everything -- it's just how we live."
Knight's position might sound extreme at first blush, but there's an undeniable logic to it: Human activities -- from development to travel, from farming to just turning on the lights at night -- are damaging the biosphere. More people means more damage. So if fewer people means less destruction, wouldn't no people at all be the best solution for the planet?
While I do agree that no people would be best for the physical planet itself, I wonder who/what would be around to appreciate it? What is the sense of having a nice and plush (but devoid of humans) spinning ball of rock? I think that viewing "the planet" as a larger eco-system with humans included is what we should be using as the baseline model, and our goal should be to constantly push for the reduction of our footprint. But that's just me.