Cornelius Ellsonpeter wrote: Ever been to Montana? There's tons of room out there. Or North Dakota/South Dakota. Plus, there's shale oil, a glut of recyclable materials in some places, and we still have natural gas fields. I seem to remember reading about a gas field in the Pacific that could be bigger than anything we've ever seen, but if it isn't drilled right, it could release a crazy amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Sabot wrote: We are out growing the Earth.
The human race is expanding at such a rate we will run out of resources and space.
We are already eating into our natural habitats at an alarming rate. So the answer is we either expand outward or start placing limits such as stop breeding or eating or driving cars. Even if we start replacing all our power stations tomorrow with Nuclear Fusion (instead of fision) we are still knackered because the natural rate our population is increasing.
So the problem isn't bad now, but if we wait till they are it will be to late, starting now will allow us to have a solution just in time for when it does get bad. So we may not so the fruits of out labours in our own life times but thats ok.
Interesting nugget: Iran has what is likely the world's largest natural gas field (according to Wikipedia). Yet they need nuclear energy...huh...
The "we're running out of space" argument never quite cut it with me. Are people suggesting continual mass exodus from earth? Do you genuinely think that the surplus population can leave the planet regularly, without having a severe impact on our resources.
No, I don't think leaving the planet will help with population problems as the poorest will be unable to leave, and will simply reproduce in situ, whereas the richest will leave and populate somewhere else.
Finding another planet won't help the population problem, unless an incredibly cheap superluminal transit method is discovered.
Alternatively, Condoms are pretty cheap and effective
We are not running out of space, just out of resources, clean air and we are killing the atmosphere which protects us, melting the icebergs that has kept sea levels at bay.
To be able to conlonize other planets means we will need to create better technologies for recycling air, water and materials and that we will be able to create a habitable artifical environment on a long term basis. All of which will benefit earth as well as any potential space colony.
Once we can create a satellite colony (like a bigger version of the space station) then mass exodus from earth may be possible with the invention of the space elevator (which is theoretically possible and although currently infeasible right now, but we will get there).
With regard to the population problem, i think it will cure itself. As developing economies become developed economies there will be less reliance on creating children as a way of investing for old age, this is already evident today in developed economies.