In Western Europe, in the preindustrial Middle Ages, man’s life expectancy was
30 years. In the nineteenth century, Europe’s population grew by 300
percent—which is the best proof of the fact that for the first time in human
history, industry gave the great masses of people a chance to survive.
If it were true that a heavy concentration of industry is destructive to human
life, one would find life expectancy declining in the more advanced countries.
But it has been rising steadily. Here are the figures on life expectancy in the
United States (from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company):
70.2 years (the latest figures compiled)
Anyone over 30 years of age today, give a silent “Thank you” to the nearest,
grimiest, sootiest smokestacks you can find.