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Friday, August 7, 2020 - 17 Av 5780
 
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Just in Time

In the year 1798, the world population numbered one billion people—one seventh of the population today. At the time, there was one Thomas Malthus who first sounded the alarm about the global catastrophe that may ensue if the population growth would continue unchecked. In his treatise, “An Essay on the Principle of Population,” he writes, “The power of population is superior to the power of earth to produce subsistence for man.” He was the first to predict the gloomy future that would be upon us the moment the delicate balance is disrupted, between human needs and available resources. 

Nevertheless, in the generations that followed, we have seen time and again that humanity somehow sidestepped the horrors that Malthus and his ilk envisioned. Many give the credit to human inventiveness and resourcefulness; we have consistently managed to come up with solutions to deal with the problem of too many people, too few resources. We have discovered more economical, more efficient ways of using our resources. Surely nobody in Mathus’s time could have envisioned the scientific advances in agriculture, the “green revolution” of fertilizers and machinery that increased the earth’s output a hundredfold.

Somehow, the revolution came just when it was needed, not a moment too soon. Rather than the future playing out as bleakly as Thomas Malthus imagined it, the reality has proved to be quite the opposite: the standard of living and quality of life in our generation is many times greater than it was in his age, despite the seven-fold increase in population. Perhaps we can look at the scientific advances as a series of miracles that came to save civilization, just when it was on the brink of destruction.

And who do we have to thank for all of this? Surely we owe a great debt to the many mathematicians, inventors, researchers and many other professionals who brought us these improvements in medicine and technology. But who introduced these miracles into nature; who put the right insights into the minds of the scientists, and in such an explosive way over the past two centuries? The answer is obvious: we owe thanks to the One above for these miracles.

G-d has done all of this as a preparation for the true and complete Redemption; a state in which the miraculous aspect of nature will be revealed for all to see. What we see now is only a slight foretaste of the Geulah, which very soon will be the reality.

 

 


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