Back in the 60's, during the Apollo program, there were some people who were concerned that the Saturn 5 rocket (to this day, the most powerful machine created by mankind, at least until SpaceX uses their biggest) would somehow damage the atmosphere.
Modern rockets work by burning hydrogen & oxygen, the byproduct of which is water. The thing can't possibly harm the environment, even of it blows up.
But suppose someone had paid attention to the people who were afraid of it? Supposed the project was stopped or held up in the courts. (which would be quite likely today) We would have never landed on the moon.
Do we want fear to paralyze our development?
I mentioned the power of the Saturn V for a reason. That was the the energy required to get 3 men to the moon & back.
Unless we blow ourselves to bits, eventually we will develop energy technology to levels as far beyond that as the Saturn V is beyond two sticks being rubbed together. If we want space travel, we have no choice. As we travel that road, we will go a long way towards solving the other problems.