The industrial world is destroying the Earth in its quest for increased production and development.

The forces of industrialization have stripped our planet of much of its natural resources in order to sustain more and more development and ever increasing rates of production. The industrialized nations of our world dig deep into our planets crust to extract ores and fuels, strip its surface of its forests and jungles for lumber and other valuable resources on their surface, and pollute the atmosphere with the dangerous by-products of industry. With their own resources depleted, the industries of the West have continually and systemically exploited developing nations, robbing them of their natural riches and opportunities to organically develop. As our species grows more advanced and more economically powerful, it unfortunately pollutes, destroys, and exploits its home. Some nations are beginning to experience the ‘green’ revolution of alternative energy and sustainable development, and this may represent the first evolutionary steps towards the future of the industrial economy. Sustainability is absolutely vital; without it, the resources which fuel our economies and our development will deplete and our industries will crumble. However, another option exists, one which offers an indefinite and nearly unlimited reserve of resources and therefore unlimited opportunity for development. That option is outer space.

We will one day explore, settle, and utilize the solar system. Space is humanity’s future. Not only does it serve as our future home, it will also provide us with the resources our industries need, the resources which we can no longer sustainably extract from the Earth. After all, our solar system is enormously rich in resources. The Earth, replete with enormous resource reserves, is only one world in a system with thousands, if not millions, of other worlds. Beyond the Earth lay our Moon, the planets, the asteroids, and then, even further out, the icy and rocky worlds of the Kupier Belt and Oort Cloud. Within each of these worlds are the resources upon which our civilization runs: metals, ores, waters, ices. The enormous abundance of worlds in our solar system means that these resources are available in equally abundant quantities. There is nothing keeping from making use of these resources. All that is needed now is for us to push into space, to begin the prospecting of these worlds, and to begin making use of their resources.

What would the utilization of these worlds entail? It is near impossible to predict what the technology or capabilities of our civilization will be in the future. However, we can easily assume that this technology will eventually come into existence; after all, we are already beginning to see the first technological and organizational steps towards asteroid and planetary mining come into being today. We can expect to see robotic expeditions to prospect and study the asteroids and worlds of our solar system. They will scan and study the surface and interiors of these worlds, determining what resources exist within. There will then be robotic or human expeditions to these worlds, expeditions which establish mining stations on their surfaces. These mining stations will extract those resources, perhaps also processing them locally. Then, using a system of interplanetary transports and convoys, those resources will be transported back to Earth or any other colonized world for utilization.

The utilization of our solar system for resources could potentially kick-start our industries in enormous ways. When our species has developed advanced enough to strip massive amounts of resources from the asteroids and worlds of our solar system, it will be able to sustain nonstop growth. This is perhaps the most important reason for us to mine the worlds of our solar system. It will provide us with a level of sustainability not yet capable, a sustainability which will allow us to preserve our fragile planet. When we exploit the vast wealth of our solar system, we will no longer need to rely upon the Earth. We will be able to conserve the resources that remain, and stop the destructive processes of resource extraction that destroy our precious ecosystem.

One day, mankind will explore, settle, and make use of our solar system. When we do, we can sustain the development of our species indefinitely. We will be able to preserve our planet’s precious environment. With this in mind, the reality becomes clear: humanity must begin this massive undertaking immediately.