thanks for responding.
We as a species are at an inflexion point and Elon Musk sees this quite clearly, if we don’t get off planet soon then we may never do it.
From a Terran point of view, Mars is not ideal. As you point out there are many things wrong with it, it will not be easy and there will be setbacks, for many it will be a one way trip.
Children born and raised on Mars will not be Earthlings, they will see at videos of their grandparents on Earth knowing they could not withstand the crushing gravity of their forebears and they will look out to the stars.
Yes we could conquer the solar system and beyond with robots but that would be a hollow victory, the robots would own those spaces, there would always be the excuses of danger or lack of resources to allow feeble humans to escape the warm embrace of the home planet.
It is a lack of political will that we haven’t/don’t solve the problems humanity faces on our home planet (such as access to clean drinking water and good sanitation as a human right/obligation).
If we have to wait until the political consensus gives permission to go then it will never happen, it is up to privateers like Musk to make it so.
The big advantage of Mars for a spacefaring community is the lack of gravity holding you down and when your species has jumped planets once, they can do it again.
My interest in extraterrestrial colonisation is in the social/political arena, it’s all very well going off and founding new worlds but has anybody thought of the implications for both the new settlers and the people left behind.