Steps towards improving the situation
Humanity and the biosphere faces threats, yet there is also great opportunity.
Sustainability, if better defined and further researched, can achieve a future for a good economy, society and environment.
Space exploration, one of humanity’s noblest endeavours, may help:
- Eventually provide a defence against off-planet threats, for example asteroid strikes
- Provide a global project all humanity can be part of
- Provide new opportunity for immense resources that decrease pressure on Earth biosphere
- Note – off-world self-sustaining colonies with life far more difficult than commonly believed, unlikely except in very long term. We need to get this ‘colony’ right first, as it has all the essentials in place already, and we still can’t manage it.
- In the long term, provide a new vision of earth as a living monument to our natural history, and an eternal haven for the biosphere that birthed our species. Rendered strategically and productively unimportant, Earth can be valued simply as the birthplace of life, a home to return to as we explore the stars
Social science may generate new ideas to solve social issues and conflict
New diplomatic techniques and knowledge may lead to better success preventing warfare
Earth’s human population may stabilise due to factors such as increased participation of women in public life (leading to family planning).This will ease many economic and environmental pressures.
New technological capabilities, such as automation and access to off-planet mineral resources, may present opportunities for improved resource management, hugely increased efficiency, and advancements in production. If the economy manages to reinvent itself to accomodate this abundance, it has the chance to end poverty (we must be cautious to not fall into wishful thinking and techno-utopianism – if we are fond of technology then our hope that technology solves problems can turn into the belief that it actually does despite evidence to the contrary).
VR may provide for peaceful avenues for people to be happy and obtain desires (though we should be aware of risks mentioned earlier)