Tritium":3qllyi6z said:To raise the public awareness of the danger,and the solution,seems to be the most important immediate goal before us today.Easier said than done,since most of the population does not see any practical value in space programs.To convince them that preservation of our species is the most important goal will require a great deal of effort,given that most people doubt the facts presented to them about global warming.It seems that the general public does not trust scientific data,or scientists.How do we change these minds?
Unfortunately, we have develolped a great number of cultural problems which makes this unlikely anytime soon.
Americans as a culture, have become notoriously short sighted, and self centered as a whole. If we aren't looking up at the sky and seeing this huge thing bearing down on us, we aren't going to notice, and we really don't care. We are too concerned with entertainment, trivialities, what's going to benefit us personally right now, and so on. Think about the amount of activity Facebook or Twitter gets vs these forums for example.
Another point is ignorance. The schools have been dumbing down for years as opposed to really trying to bring students that need help up to the rest of the class. There are the teachers (I meet many in my work) who are only marginally brighter than their students, and some not even that. But that's what we pay for. There is the culture of the schools (my son is in high school). In most cases, being smart is a strike against you, and gets you socially ostracized. (The advantage to the not so bright, appears to be that smart kids force the "curve" up)
Finally, as a culture, we have become lazy. Thinking is work. Thinking things through, takes effort. Researching things just is out of the question.
I know that this is a rather bleak picture, but if you look at America as a whole, dig in to what is going on at the schools (deeper than a PTA meeting), pay attention to where the "man on the street's" priorities are, or simply watch the people you see everyday, you will understand very quickly why they don't care. They are far more concerned with the latest twitter gossip than a major change in the space program for example.
To do what you ask, would require profound cultural change, and that would take generations.