The space race
We need a place to go. That is the main reason to continue to explore space. The question I have is this: why have we stopped looking outward? Do we not realize how close we are to creating some sort of disaster that will cause the human race to become extinct? Even though I don’t necessarily accept the conclusion that human activity is the cause of global warming (though I do think that the climate of the earth is changing) I think that the answer to human activity causing global warming is to have a pressure relief valve as it were.
A large scale shift to space exploration might even reduce the tendency of people to make war on one another (although I doubt that will happen) and even if it doesn’t reduce our warring on one another it does give us the possibility of having a seed left somewhere to reclaim the earth if we haven’t managed to reduce the earth to an asteroid belt.
Yes there is wealth out there that right now no one is using and I think we should be working on getting it. A good set of talks on this subject begins here: http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/space-exploration-part-1-planning-our-next-steps-in-space/3c5cff24453979954f973c5cff24453979954f97-60066300036 I am an admirer of David Brin and recommend his thoughtful books on the possibilities of the future.