I often see people complain in space exploration forums that there are more important things to spend our money on than running around the solar system checking out stuff for no other reason than to see if there is stuff there to check out.
well, maybe there is, but I find the whole notion of people questioning whether we should be spending money on space travel to be offensively hypocritical.
Don't people realise that eventually, there will be no more room on Earth for all of us?
Don't kid yourself if you think we can or *should* just keep building.
Population levels will not back off from falling because as our technology and medicine become cheaper, more and more people will live longer, but the problem with that is there isn't enough space to feed and house them without turning massive amounts of land into agricultural land to feed us and more land, probably vertically, into residential spaces to house us.
At some point, there will be too many people to be supported by the available agricultural land so food we will need to be artificially "grown" by scientific means...
But do you see where that is heading ... ? ....
... artificiality ....
Personally, I'm an indoors person, but to think of our forests being cut down and not being able to breathe fresh air sounds like a really bad idea! So do we really want to turn our planet into one big city (aka ecumenopolis) and eat food that has been grown in labs?
Or do we want to spread out into the galaxy so that we can let the earth repair itself, like a planetary park, that families would visit for the weekend like they do these days when they visit Yellowstone National Park or Daintree Rainforest ??
we currently have the technology to send probes to the stars local to us. *yes* we do, *yes* they would cost trillions of dollars, and *yes* they would take hundreds of years to get there, and *yes* it would then take decades to 'beam' anything useful back, but by that time, we may just *need* to start planning to move off this planet in a couple of hundred years, so if we start *now*, we may be actually able to do something before the population hits critical mass and we run out of food/water/space/air/etc....
and who knows, there very well could be a nice little earth sized planet around Proxima Centauri with its own really powerful magnetic field to shield it from any flare ups from our closest interstellar neighbour... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxima_Centauri
what's that? what a waste of money? there are more important things to spend money on, right here on earth?
of course there are, but if we're going to stop wasting money on bullshit, what's with all the money that has been spent on useless wars?
the Americans have spent a trillion dollars on the Iraqi / Afghan war, see page 19 of this report for a nice graph, it's a PDF
but here it is
(it's so much easier to find information on USA government spending than it is on Australian government spending, even our own government lists off pretty graphs of other countries spending's before they do the same for Australia - *sigh*)
it's cost Australians about $130 dollars each as of 2008 (total $3 billion spent)
as of 2010, it's cost about $3000+ for each person in the USA, for what?
and this time, I'll refrain from mentioning that not only was the Iraqi war based on a lie, but legend has it, that it was Jesus Christ himself that told George W Bush to invade Iraq in the first place.
yeah, so if there are so much more important things to spend our money upon here on earth, then you can start fucking spending money on them or you can shut the fuck up