I am an avid space advocate and even studied aerospace engineering in college, however, I still struggle with a great answer to this question: "Why explore space?"
A few days ago an old professor who I really respect posted on a public forum:
I am not concerned about space, the cosmos, or the unending vastness of our universe. I just want to see earth fixed first. Let's feed the hungry and house the homeless, live morally and love one another first. THEN let's worry about space, huh?
Now, I can think of many economical, social, and even political reasons that space exploration is important... but is there a way to suade people who reason in this way? It is easy to talk to people who love space about why we "go there" and "do that", but how do you talk to people who are stuck on the idea that "fixing" the Earth comes first?