Greta Wants to Take Us Back There! But What Was Life Really Like Before the Industrial Revolution?
Back to a time when the weather was better, people were healthier and lived longer, right?
Greta Thumberg wants to reset the world to a time before the industrial revolution. A time before man began to burn fossil fuels. If we just stopped burning fossil fuels, and abandoned industrial practices, everything would be better Greta tells us. The weather would be nicer, people would be healthier and live longer, and we would all have happier lives.
There should be no objection to that idea, after all, who doesn't want to have nicer weather, live longer and be healthier? Nobody, right? Just one tiny problem with it though? That world never existed, ever.
Before the industrial revolution life was hard, brutal and short.
Most people were farmers, growing crops or tending to livestock without the aid of machinery. It was backbreaking work, long hours and little reward. Malnutrition was common leading to illnesses such as rickets and scurvy, disease was rife with millions dying every year due to their spread. Life expectancy in the 1800s was 40 for a man and 42 for a woman. That was if you ever reached adulthood. Children regularly died in birth with 1 on 7 children never reaching their fifth birthday. Pre-industrial Brits never travelled more than 10 miles from where they were born during their entire life.
Unlike Greta's fantasy, the pre industrial world was a very grim place. The idea of any type of comfort, let alone luxury, was an unattainable dream.
The Industrial Revolution was, the greatest leap forward ever made by mankind. Increases in food production has saved billions from starvation. Capitalism, greatly enabled by industrialisation, has raised an estimated 2.4 Billion people out of poverty. Britain gave the world everything that matters. Everything that Greta takes for granted came from Industrialised Britain, even if she doesn't realise it.
Britain's ingenuity created modernity. From the television to penicillin, from refrigeration to the Jet engine Britain has given the world everything worth having. Increased yields in farming thanks to things like the Jethro Tull seed drill, water sanitation thanks to John Harington, the powered loom thanks to Edmund Cartwright. Literally, everything Greta takes for granted was thanks to the injunity of British and the Industrial Revolution.
Greta clearly knows nothing about history, if she did she'd realise that she should be eternally grateful for being born in a time after the Industrial revolution, and not before it.