The human race is getting larger.
For now. Population growth is not an ever-increasing graph, it's more like an S-Shaped curve, slowing down as capacity is reached.
Check the chart of world population growth
on wikipedia, the rate is decreasing.
To support a larger number of human beings is going to mean we are going to need to put into place infrastructure to build new homes and places of work, new roads so people can move about, expand existing methods of transport to cater for the greater numbers
... all of this will require a greater number of all resources. You can not recycle to make more stuff, it just means you take less new resource but ultimately we can only go so far.
Your thinking in the 'Western' philosophy, like it is assumed that people need roads and transport. Ever been to Africa? Most people in Africa get by pretty happily without roads, cars, TV, internet, piped gas. We in the West tend to assume that we are happier
than Africans, but we don't actually know
that. Rather than assume that we'll need to add infrastructure, how about the possibility that we learn to do without?
People will continue to breed, we can't stop them, a condom will only serve to slow population growth. Infact all the measures we put into place will only slow done the inevitable.
Back to population growth models again -- we will not grow continually, we will reach capacity and level out.
... I'm saying that our needs will drive us to look else where for what we need. We still need to save what we have left
Our we will examine our 'needs' and decide what we can do without. Electricity and TVs are not needs, they are luxuries that we've got so used to that we think of then as needs (unless you happen to live somewhere
inhospitable like Aberdeen).
We can not solve tomorrows problems with todays solutions. We need to invest in tomorrow and not be narrow sighted about the prospect of using resources in space to help us ...
I agree, but I don't think that we should automatically move out into space without dealing with what we've already got. I don't see human living in space (as opposed to other planets) as a real option and I don't see 'faster than light' travel as a possibility.
We have to face the likelihood that Earth is the best place we're ever likely to have. Kind of 'Fix our back yard before moving to take over our neighbours back yard' philosophy.
Lets not forget the pstchological aspect to space missions -- they can often generate an optimistic feeling in society.