It has been reported that President Bush may announce a manned mission to the Moon and Mars.
If this is true, it would be a good thing because humanity must keep exploring and moving forward into the universe, the limitless frontier. If we turn inward and stay here on Earth, someday the human race will be extinct. Just another species that rose up, flourished, and died leaving a few traces behind to mark their passage.
Some folks say we should attend to the problems here on Earth and settle them before we venture into outer space. There will always be problems to fix, and religious disagreements that need solving. But if we want to be around long enough to solve our problems, we better spread ourselves out, way out, out into space.
Right now, humanity is like a group of villagers on a Pacific island. The right wave comes along, and poof, the villagers are history. Except humanity won't even be history because there will be no one left to write it down.
But if we broke free of this planet and got out into space, the human race could, theoretically, go on forever! No asteroid could kill us off, no atomic war, or disease, could wipe us out, no climatical catastrophe could put an end to us, nothing could stop us!
Unless of course, the universe ended. But it is far less likely that the universe will end than for life on this particular planet to end. And even more likely that a species trapped on Earth will go extinct before for all life on it will end.
As long as we are as imperfect as we are, we will never solve our problems. The only hope is to alllow humanity the species longevity required to attain the maturity it takes to solve its problems.
We won't see it but our descendants, seventy generations from now, might if we give them the chance!
We owe it to 'em to try.