Can you imagine the 1800's? Picture a farmer trying like heck to make a living. He does not have technology on his side, just an old plow and a mule. He waters with irrigation canals. He works from before sunrise to well after sunset every day. He is always dirty. When he sells his crops, if the weather cooperates, he will have made enough money to barely feed his family for another year. Now picture a man working in a manufacturing environment. He works 6 days a week for 12 hours a day. He gets paid just enough to feed his family. When he gets home, he wants to spend time with his family. They eat dinner and then read their Bible, the only book that they own. Then they go to bed so they can do it again tomorrow.
Can you imagine if these two men thought like we do today? They could spend hours of their day worrying about what kind of world they were leaving their great grand children. The farmer would stop working so much and start thinking about how much water he was using. He may even start feeling guilty. He would start thinking that if he used less water, some guy in some other place could have a drink. Instead of cutting down some trees in order to have a bigger farm and grow more crops, he would consider the trees. After all, they are not a sustainable resource. He may even realize that he spends way too much time farming and should spend more time with his family.
Luckily for all of us, our forefathers did not think this way!