I keep hearing people talk about how humans will be colonizing Mars soon. As a realist, able to use critical thinking, I can not agree with that assessment because they are forgetting about one very important aspect of such colonization. Who is going to pay for it?
Everyone thinks that science and exploration would be enough of a motivator for the funding of space colonization to happen, but our own history shows us that this is not the case.
If you look back throughout history at the greatest accomplishments around the world like the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the US Interstate Highway System, the Medieval European Cathedrals, the Discovery of America, the Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, all of these accomplishments were driven by three motivators.
These are the only three motivators that have ever been successfully used to finance such enormous undertakings. Without using one of these three motivators, such a great undertaking would not be possible.
In this day and age, the Religion / Praise of Deity or Royalty motivation is no longer a consideration. So that only leaves two motivators strong enough to finance such a large undertaking as colonizing another planet, even one as close to Earth as Mars, Financial Gain and War / Defense.
Unless someone were to somehow discover diamonds or something that valuable on Mars, private investors are not going to be willing to invest the trillions of dollars that it would take for colonizing another planet. Even with this possibility, I still feel it would be extremely unlikely that private investors would be willing to take on such a colossal financial risk.
Today we need rare elements for technology which are very difficult to find on Earth. They are used in cellphones, batteries, microprocessors, and so much more as our technological advances continue. These same elements have also been located in much greater quantities on asteroids, yet private investors have yet to finance harvesting these elements from the many asteroids in space. There has also been one other very important element found on asteroids which is essential for all life on Earth, water. Yet there still is no financing for asteroid mining.
Since private investors are not going to pay for the colonization of Mars themselves, that only leaves one other source for such a huge financial undertaking, our governments.
The exact same motivators exist for governments. Governments would need to be motivated by financial gain, or war / defense. Either the government would need to have a way of making a significant return on their financial investment, or there would be an imminent threat to the existence of humans on the planet.
If governments were willing to be motivated by financial gain, governments would have been financing those same asteroid mining operations, yet we see they are not.
The last one would never happen because by the time they realize there