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However, if we Humans with our calculating and reflecting brains - as the first species ever on this planet - should choose not to do this; if we should choose not to reach out for new grounds and resources beyond the horizons, as we become capable of it... well, that would be highly unnatural. It would be something totally new, totally against Nature - and extremely dangerous.

Let me cite legendary Apollo 16 astronaut John Young, one of the few who has been on the Moon: Single-planet species do not last. Just as Carl Sagan he likened us with a species living on a small island in a vast ocean. A species living on only one single island is extremely vulnerable. It won't take much for it to go existinct: climate change, a competing species, food shortage, inbreeding, etc. The more places you live on, the more likely your species will survive & prosper.

It has happened numerous times on Earth. And in the same way, the many threats facing our "island Earth" make us vulnerable. Some of these threats, we are responsible for ourselves, but others are entirely beyond our control, like big asteroid impacts, large supervolcano eruptions, and climate changes caused by solar activity and our galactic environment. As the prominent cosmologist Stephen Hawking has said: Sooner or later something is going to get us.

For a long time, environmentalists and space frontiermen have been standing against each other, divided by seemingly opposing views. But as we have seen, we are all environmentalists. We all share the same overall goal. Saving Earth and its life forms from a growing number of threats must be our highest priority.

- But we can't do it by staying on Earth alone. It's not sustainable.






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