does indeed seem to be a natural
consequence of our societies
tendency to have a positive growth rate, i.e. for most of the world
in our the solar system
are not really suitable for habitation, and would either require vast buildings, or perhaps terraforming
to house a growing population
Of course our technology
will need to drasticaly improve to meet the challenges that this will bring; however certain areas of our technology develop exponentially
. It may well be that space based and assiociated technology could undergo the same revolution
has, if so within a 20 or 30 year time period, the solar system could
open up to delevopment.
On a cautionary note, the very reason for colonisation, our growth rate could still be our undoing. If we don't find a way to limit our population
and live within the restrictions
imposed by the resources available, we will always
run out of space. Even the 1-2% population growth rate of a lot of the world gives an exponential curve, eventually this would lead to a need to colonise the stars
, and at an ever quickening rate. This 'wave' of expansion would eventually have to move at the speed of light
to keep up; and behind the wave would be star systems, full to bursting and running out of resources....
I think we should expand, not to make our society larger, but to be more flexible
; to ensure the survival of the species
timescales. Right now the cosmological environment
we live in, could wipe out the human species
. Our technology now is brittle
with respect to the forces that could act upon it, such as asteroid
explosions, the passage of the sun though a dust cloud to name a few.
Getting into space will take a lot of thinking, staying there will really
take thinking and planning.