But the deeper reason is that there’s really no such thing as a natural resource. All resources are artificial. They are a product of technology. And economic growth is ultimately driven, not by material resources, but by ideas.~ Jason Crawford from https://longnow.org/ideas/02022/10/07/can-economic-growth-continue-over-the-long-term/
A few years ago my thinking shifted. I used to think of something, simply by its existence, as being a “natural resource.” More recently I’ve begun to pay attention to which, and how much, technology has to be added for something to be a resource. Anything in the ground has no special value until someone adds the mining or drilling, the refinement, distribution and so on. That makes it clearer how to evaluate the trade-offs.
It becomes easier to visualize, and realize, that the constraints are not the amount of the natural resource (the raw stuff) but rather that the limits are all the expense, destruction, energy, transformation, and ideas that have to go into making that raw stuff usable. And sometimes, it’s just not the right trade-off to make a something into something useable.