We will not have time to colonize other planets if we don't fix the problems we have now; global warming, other pollution, and of course, the dreaded WMD's. - oh, please, we will never fix all problems on this planet, if we had to fix all the ills of this world to colonize others, the colonization would never happen.
If instead of taking on a journey, Columbus decided to fight poverty in his own country the US would still be in the hands of the natives.
Pollution is another problem, and the heart of it is this: There are too many of us. - this is a stupid argument. There are not too many of us as long as we find ways to support our population size.
Besides, there is a very good reason to grow population in size: we need critical mass to produce new technologies, we need critical mass to produce those rare geniuses that push the science forward. Like Einstein, you couldn't have Einstein appear in a very small population. There are many reasons for that, one is that in small population, most of the population is busy growing food and noone has time for activities like science. Another reason is that we need intellectual mutants, and the possibility of mutations that produce extremely smart people goes up, as the general population goes up. Even when we do produce very smart people, the chances of them actually using their extreme intelligence in productive manner are very small. They need education, they need opportunities, this is what the rest of us are providing them with.
That's how our species will survive and establish itself in the Universe, by multiplying and producing intellectual mutants and environment where those mutants will thrive and achieve the levels of understanding of the Universe that a 'normal' today's person cannot have.
Those of us with a bent for science know the dangers of fucking with nature, and the "die-off" curve in the graph (you know, where the population gets too high and they all starve to death?) - those of us with a bent for science know the dangers of NOT fucking with nature, and the 'die-off'. You know, like what happened with the dinosaurs. They didn't fuck with nature, so nature fucked with them.
You can't accept it, but the reason why we continue to survive and in such large numbers is exactly because we fuck with nature. We defy nature at every step and will continue to do so.
However I personally do not see this as fucking with nature. Making fire, the first wheel, the first knife, the first septic tank, the first city, the first nuclear weapon, the first airplane and the first rocket, the first heart transplant. Then the first virus killing nanobiotic, the first fusion reactor, then the first off-planet colony etc. All of this is not defying nature, it is all natural, we are natural creatures doing what nature allows us to do - mutate to a point where we define our own environment and the rules. That is the only way to survive in the long run and not to die-off like the dinosaurs did a few times before us.
is within most of our expected lifetimes. Who here wants to watch your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren starve to death, along with 15 or 20 billion other people? - oh, yeah, think of the children. Fuck the children, think of yourself. As long as you are thinking of yourself, your children will be just fine, this hasn't ever changed and will continue to work always.
That won't really happen, of course; We'll run out of fresh water and die of thirst, instead. - you are saying you are bent for science? You are bent for popular scare mongering and ignorance. That is what we, humans, are good at - taking a problem and solving it. There is no fresh water? We'll distill it. There is no liquid water at all? We'll find H and O atoms and will fuse it.
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