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A speech director James Cameron gave to the Mars Society. Inspiring, IMO:

"People are always saying ... we need to solve our problems right here on Earth before we go spending money out in space. It makes me want to vomit frankly.

Check back in five hundred or a thousand years. People will still be talking about all the problems that need to be solved.

We are never going to reach some utopian plateau where everything is solved so we can then, with lordly confidence, look around us for worlds to conquer as some kind of hobby.

Not spreading ourselves outward into the solar system now, when we have the capability to do so, is one of the problems we have to be solving right here on Earth.

We are really at a turning point. Go forward, or go back. By stopping, by stagnating, we go back.

I look around at the turn of the millennium and see a prosperous, powerful, technologically unparalleled society which, collectively, has no purpose but to feather its own nest.

It is a goal-less, rudderless society, dedicated to increasing security and creature comforts.

Our children are raised in a world without heroes. They are led to believe that heroism consists of throwing a football the furthest, getting the most hangtime during a slam dunk, or selling the most movie tickets with your looks and boyish charm.

This is not heroism, and these are not valid tests of our mettle as an intelligent race.

Young kids need something to dream about, something to measure their value system against. They live in a sea of mind-numbing inputs, a point-and-shoot videogame world where it is hip to not care, where death and violence have no meaning, where leaders are morally bankrupt, and where the scientific quest for understanding is sooo not cool.

Going to Mars is not a luxury we can't afford ... it is a necessity we can't afford to be without."