You could say that about any generation alive today. Things are always changing, we don't have much say in the changes, and things don't always change in our favor. But I don't think it's accurate to say young people aren't reaping the rewards of industry, all the material things they either have or want are products of industry. Everyone likes the golden egg, but nobody likes the smell of goose shit or wants to clean up after the goose.
Environmental stewardship is one of the great challenges of our age, and great strides are being made in that direction. With things like electric cars and the advent of liquid fluoride thorium reactors, we are for the first time looking at the possibility of a civilization with limitless, clean, safe energy. I think that's exciting.
My father grew up in a city heated by coal burning stoves, smoke was everywhere all the time, especially in the winter. Even the snow was a dirty gray color. All the water pipes were made of lead. Gasoline contained lead too, so it was coming out the exhaust of every car, and there were no pollution controls like catalytic converters.
Imagine bumper to bumper traffic in a large city like New York in the 1960s. Thousands of dirty ass old V8 engines sitting there belching out raw fumes. And on top of that, everybody smoked cigarettes too, so they'd be stuck in traffic, sucking leaded fumes and having a smoke. Things are so much cleaner now, but unless you remember what it used to be like, it's hard to appreciate how far we've come.