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"If you can't raise it, you have to mine it. "This illustrates the simplicity of sustaining life.  We either raise what we need to live, or we dig for it! So much of our planet's resources are portrayed as endangered, exploited, over-used, under-replenished, etc.  However, it is a fact that there is a certain amount of everything:  the same amount of water, in some form (frozen, liquid, vapor), exists as it always has. The United Nations 'envisions' that each person on Earth should receive four gallons of water per day for all that person's uses, including laundry, cooking, drinking, and sanitation.  If we begin to use cloth instead of paper for toilet use, how much of that four gallons will we need to clean the cloth? A created crisis gets a lot of sympathy and monetary support from those who are well-meaning but mislead. There is the same amount of land surface, although, like water, land does meander. It sinks in one place and rises as a volcano somewhere else. Following this thought pattern, how can we exhaust our supplies of anything when it all stays here? Recycling is not just something humans invented a few decades ago; Earth has been the ultimate recycler for eons! The rainforest is the ultimate compost pile!! When we extract a mineral and use it to make a combined form of product, the byproducts of that eventually return to the earth to regenerate. For example, look at gas. It is a gas, a substance that is not solid. When it is burned, it is still a gas, and will eventually become reusable.  Should we stop mining and oil and gas exploration?  Should we stop living?