On the subject of astrophysics and space: UCSD professor Tom Murphy has a detailed explanation on why our assumptions of colonizing space are fantastical. It is worth your time and the reality check.
One of Tom’s points is that we’ll colonize the oceans before we colonize space. This was precisely what Scott Adams suggested in a recent post, where he argued the rich will soon move to floating islands.
I got this link via Slashdot. The comments there are worth reading too. Slashdot was one of the best websites for nerds until every other post started descending into an iPhone vs. Android flamewar. It still has the more knowledgable readers of any mainstream website, I’d argue.
You don’t need to read a thousand-word post to figure out we have a problem. Recall your daily schedule from morning to night. Note how many of the planet’s resources you utilize. Compare that with what you give back to the planet every day. (Using paper bags is not giving back; it is taking less.)
Now imagine 7 billion people doing the same and you have your problem.
As I see it, our population curve needs to reverse or our lifestyles need to change radically. Neither is happening.