India's former President, Dr. Abdul Kalem laid out perhaps the greatest argument for humanity to explore our solar system, which should appeal to the true believers as well as to the skeptics.
(Technology Review) Kalam said that India understands that global civilization will deplete earthly fossil fuels in the 21st century. Hence, he said, a "space industrial revolution" will be necessary to exploit the high frontier's resources. Kalam predicted that India will construct giant solar collectors in orbit and on the moon, and will mine helium-3--an incredibly rare fuel on Earth, but one whose unique atomic structure makes power generation from nuclear fusion potentially feasible--from the lunar surface.
Unless humanity can come up with a new energy source that can replace our dependence upon fossil fuels, then our species may witness the climax of our civilization as it exits the "golden age."
Although space can not ultimately save us from ourselves, it can provide us with more options to enhance our planet, and ultimately every world that orbits our parent star.
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