Humans aren’t a very trustworthy lot, and that’s exactly why we created the concept of insurance. Insurance textbooks usually credit a group of rather daft rice farmers with creating the first insurance policy. These guys would farm all year, and then take their crops to market via the river. The problem was that their boats were narrow and very tippy, and this meant that out of every ten farmers, one would usually lose his whole year’s work in a capsize. Rather than building better boats, the farmers started splitting their crops up. If there were twelve dudes in your village, you’d give a twelfth of your crop to each other farmer. The result was that everybody got to market with most of their crop, and nobody had to bail out the wet dude for a whole year.
We do this because we’re too stupid to build a wider boat. The global version of building a wider boat would be taking care of the planet that we live on, but it seems we might be too stupid for that too, given that people seem to prefer buzzwords and pundits to peer-reviewed studies. That’s why Elon Musk wants to put at least a million humans on Mars, in order to ensure the survival of the human race.
Ithink there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary: In order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct. It would be like, ‘Good news, the problems of poverty and disease have been solved, but the bad news is there aren’t any humans left.