The Precipice by Ben Bova
The title "Precipice", presumably refers to the "Greenhouse Cliff" that plays a role in the book. The premise is the Earth's climate has passed a point like a phase transition to a different level. Earth and humanity are in crisis.
Dan Randolph is the head of a space construction company that is financially stretched. When cut-throat businessman Humphries offers him a new fusion engine design that might allow economical exploitation of the asteroid belt, Randolph sees it as a way the Earth could be rescued (as well as a way to make a lot of money). He is tempted into a business deal that is part of Humpheries' scheme to take over Randolph's company.
We are led through various business wrangling and mischief, a mix of religious and governmental geopolitics on Earth, and issues involving an independent Moon colony. Eventually, we do have a spacecraft fly to the asteroids, with business treachery coming to dominate this part of the book as well.
By the end of the book the story has been primed for the next book in the series. In the last few pages some of the story threads that might otherwise be left dangling are updated a bit. But for the most part, the final scene is just a bridge to book two.
Although there are references to fusion energy, nanotech, etc., and there are a few points where the book gets a bit preachy about climate change and space exploration, on the whole it is more of a business conspiracy novel.
For my tastes, this book (as well as some other Bova books) is too full of intrigue, politics and such. It's not even that I don't like books that include intrigue, politics, etc. But a book like this has so much else it could have delved into - science, discovery, ideas about issues. I felt short-changed by the book having such a large percent of its time spent on this other material. Bova may be very realistic that the sort of business plotting, religious conservatism and politics will follow and impact any human endeavors into space; but I didn't think I needed quite so many gory details. It's as if I wanted to read up on gourmet cooking of steaks. Yes, the reality is that to have a steak to cook a cow has to be slaughtered and butchered, and how that's done might effect issues of gourmet cooking. But for me it would be excessive to have over half the cook book spent telling me about the slaughtering / butchering of cattle.
Maybe Bova's approach of watering down the SF with intrigue will bring a broader readership to his books, and that may interest more people in space exploration. Perhaps for such reasons Bova is doing a good thing for human destiny. But that does not mean it is the best reading material for those with a greater inclination towards SF and science.