Stop for a moment and ask yourself what the human race is best at? What sets us apart from the other creatures on this planet? Of course there are several things, but one of the most important is our ability to adapt. Most species try to make the best of their environmental niche. Evolution allows them, over sometimes vast periods of time, to take advantage of other niches too. Life has spread to very nearly every part of our wonderful planet, adapting to incredible extremes, but humans are the only single species which have been so versatile as to be able to explore the coldest areas, the hottest areas, the depths of the oceans and even into the vacuum of space. We have bypassed the need to evolve to conquer these environments.
Unlike all the other species, we have rapidly advancing technology. Each new generation in the developed countries live in a world of technology that their parents could only dream about when they were the same age.
An important ability we share with many other species is proliferation. Clear proof of this is that there are now too many of us for the planet and population is increasing at an all too alarming rate. We have conquered a huge number of diseases and illnesses, developed technologies to increase food production and have an extraordinary network to distribute food (albeit not fairly) around the planet and have made many other advances that increase average lifespan and reduce mortality rates.
Like every other life-form on Earth, our purpose is to multiply, to spread and take best advantage of any environment we can. As a species we can no longer comply with that as the very fact we have been so successful at this means we have outgrown our planet. We are like a plant which, having grown well, desperately needs a bigger pot.
So how do we get a bigger pot? Our technology already has many of the answers for that but does not yet have the resources to apply that solution. To thrive and continue to spread we simply must, as a species, colonise other planets, other star systems and ensure the survival of the human race.
As individuals we often say that having children gives life true meaning. It is a drive on a genetic level and much of what we do is for our descendants. The campaign to reduce the effects of global warming is for the benefit of our children, and their children. Most of the projections put the significant changes around 50-100 years in the future. The chances are many of us will not be around then, but we still have a fundamental drive to ensure that our genes survive.
If we continue to confine ourselves to one small planet with limited resources then either a terrible environmental disaster threatens us or draconian drops in population in future populations are needed and that simply goes against human nature.
We owe it to our children to put the resources into space travel and the colonisation of other worlds. If we don't do it a future generation will, if only out of dire necessity, but the longer we leave it the worse things will get here on Earth.