Barring Mars a sweet idea or not?

Pretty tacky title but the rest of the post is better!

We have just been watching a program about the exploration of Mars and the plans to send human beings there. My husband and I are divided on the issue.

I feel the money that is being spent on this, which is huge, could be spent alleviating hunger, helping with the global warming issue and improving mankind’s lot in general. Therefore I feel it is morally wrong to be spending this money on this particular research. I am not talking about America I am referring to all countries involved. Which brings me to the point that if this were truly about saving mankind and bettering our lot, the countries would all be working together rather than competing. At least I think so.

My husband feels that it is shortsighted not to be considering space research, as mankind may need to leave this planet one day, in case of a global emergency, like the meteorite that supposedly killed off the dinosaurs, or some other catastrophic event.

My argument on that comment is that that is not really saving mankind because most would not be able to go, only a select handful that would be destined to continue the species and who does the choosing?

There is the argument that we may be able to grow food off planet but I say lets fix our own planet before we mess up another.

What do you think?