The Earth is crowded.
The human species has fouled its nest.
Most attempts to clean up the environment will be met with various forms of hostility, reluctance and probably will do little good unless all nations on the globe pitch in, which they will not.
Humans are everywhere. There are few unspoiled or untouched areas left on the planet. Whole ecosystems are being wiped out under the pressure of development for housing, business or food growth.
Years ago, scientists discovered how rats behaved when jammed too close to each other in restricted spaces. Currently, humans are imitating the rats.
Morality is down, crime is up, poverty is rampant, the wealthy are detached from everyone else, all forms of squabbles keep popping up from neighbors separated by a mere 10 feet to countries divided by miles.
New forms of diseases are popping up faster than cures can be found.
Various forms of organized religion are appearing and most do not agree with the others.
Vital natural resources are being depleted and the renewable ones are not being renewed properly.
People are living longer so the population steadily grows. Birth control is met with resistance.
Wars are a constant form of life and after each one is settled, the environment suffers and the combatants promptly start reproducing to make up for the dead.
The viable alternative? Bleed surplus population off to somewhere else. Mars sounds good, or even the long neglected moon. History has shown that all nations which expanded into new, untamed worlds bled off their most aggressive and usually most criminally prone pioneers. In the new worlds, they had room to expand and enough to do to keep them as productive citizens. Today, the current pioneer stock develope risky, dangerous games to slake their thirst for adventure, join military groups to try to initiate a war or become mercinaries or corporate raiders.
When populations started to drop due to expansion into new territories, conflicts dropped within the home lands. Resources could be renewed, and people started having more than a few square meters to spread out in. In the pioneer worlds, instances of psychiatric crime such as rape, serial killing, child abuse, robbery and general corruption dropped dramatically.
Homosexuality, depression, stress related mental problems and phobias dropped. The dependence on drugs, including alcohol, dropped.
Food surpluses were common, conflicts resulting in wars were fewer, general aggressiveness dropped.
Considering the current laws and regulations we have today, any colony on a new world would not face the monopoly practices illegally visited on pioneers by things like the Hudson Bay company, the rail roads, the cattle barons, oil monopolies, nor allow the taking over of another persons land nor territories. Nor would there be any native/invader wars like the Cowboys and Indians, the British and the Indians, the slave trade, and the corruption of the natives in South America and Alaska. (There probably will not be any sentient beings found within the solar system.)
Building colonies could channel millions out into space and give people of all races and nationalities room to expand and to work together for survival. Vacuum industries could provide all forms of economic bliss, and the decrease in the Earths population could start the healing cycle for the planet.
Once people spread out, they would be too busy to sue everyone for every reason. Ghettos would be shut down. Poverty would drop. Mandatory recycling could assure that the new worlds stay in good shape. New sources of food could be discovered along with new, cheaper farming techniques.
History has shown us time and time again that when a civilization gets too big for its environment, it either needs to expand or start to rot from within. Currently, political squabbling over available funds have brought our space exploration to a crawl, when we should have been on Mars 10 years ago and had bases on the moon by now. Had the space program been left alone like it was in the 60s, we probably would have weekly shuttles to the moon, scientific teams on Mars and plans being made for mass transport to start factories and colonies in space.
But every politician and his brother started digging into the pot of gold that was NASA and crippled it to the extent that the project was so cheapened that a shuttle blew up, plans for the lunar bases were junked and everything concentrated on making money by shoving commercial satellites up into space for big businesses.
We need to expand into space or eventually we are going to have another major world war and there might not be much left to send into space afterwards.
NASA developed a new form of fuel cell, free of any form of oil dependency. Imagine what forms of alternate power could be developed if the space agency could be given full freedom. Roughly 1,000 items used in homes and hospitals have sprang up from space research. Imagine how much more could appear. The computer technology took a great leap because of its need in space ships, and from there it went to the military and then into businesses and homes.
In 1973 I worked in a clinic and there were no computers anywhere in the building. That same clinic today has computers all over the place. Just think about what more could be developed from space technology if we start heading out for new planets.
Microminiaturiation was a direct result of the space programs because room was scarce in a space capsule. Now we have small electric watches that not only tell the time, but act as a stop watch, an alarm clock, keep memos, phone numbers, play tunes, plus display the time in different time zones!
In 1974 I wore a windup watch.
In my opinion, we need to push harder to get further into space.
It’s time to expand before we foul our nest beyond recovery. Either that, or have a massive war that will kill off at least 1/4 of the global population but, today even that is not practical. Our weapons are too great and we would destroy too much usable land and resources. No one would really win.
We have one option and that is to get into space.
What? Me worry?’