I appreciate your thoughtfulness about the future. What I am about to say is going to sound like I am picking on you, but I am actually frustrated with our culture. I believe we fantasize when we need to face reality.
Space is a resource-draining pursuit for humanity overall. We gain technology, there is no doubt. I am writing this essay on a mattress made from materials that NASA designed. Furthermore, it is the only material my quite disabled back will tolerate.
However, the system that humans have designed. An exploitative academia that never allows time for a young professor to get up from a desk causes backs to fail. A health care system that does not become accessible and affordable create a situation where that back is not rehabilitated properly for some people.
Until finally, there’s a situation where you need NASA foam. Which I really cannot afford because I also cannot work anymore.
As humans, we are focused on colonizing Mars, a completely inhospitable environment with extraordinarily excessive resource demand just for survival. Meanwhile, our systems here on Earth are warped and disturbing. We haven’t created sustainable living systems yet.
The environment needs a sustainable system, but our bodies and minds need a less exploitative system, too. Capitalism may not be the engine of invention it seems (see the American Genius series). Or it could be if it were combined with a universal basic income? Again, we need to have conversations about sustainability.
We have an amazing climate we evolved specifically to live in. That environment is changing because of our behavior. We need to focus on colonizing Earth. Because in 100 years, we will have created an Earth with a climate less hospitable to humans. Nonetheless, it will still be the only planet in the accessible universe worth investing resources into living on.
It is an absolute fantasy to think otherwise yet we still invest billions of dollars moving toward a future where we are colonizing Mars. Is this the pressing priority for the generation of people living 100 years from now? Is it?
Or is it trying to colonize Earth? And can’t we finally do the right thing for our descendants? Plan for their future on the planet that has the best resources for their future?