4.1 original

4.1 We extract substances from the earth’s crust

We extract various substances from the earth’s crust in large quantities and at a very fast rate:

  • Fossil fuels
  • Metals
  • Minerals

Fossil fuels

We use a lot of fossil fuels at an enormous rate:

  • Oil – from which we make other fuels such as diesel oil for ships, kerosene for airplanes, gasoline and diesel for vehicles.
  • Coal – lignite and coal – that we use to generate energy in coal-fired power stations.
  • Natural gas – what we use to generate energy for heating our buildings, for cooking and in all kinds of production processes to achieve high temperatures.

We get energy in return, but also all kinds of nasty by-products such as nitrogen, fine dust, ultra-fine dust, volatile gases and of course a lot of CO2. This all builds up under our glass cap. In addition, it is not easy to mine these substances. It is often unhealthy and dangerous work that involves many risks and conflicts worldwide.


Many metals that we extract from the earth’s crust are very harmful to people and the environment and would be better left in the earth’s crust. Especially heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, chromium. If we remove these from the earth’s crust, sooner or later they end up in the rubbish dump and thus build up in the biosphere, our living layer. Here they increasingly cause diseases, including cancer.


Finally, we extract all kinds of minerals from the earth’s crust such as salts, phosphates, sulfides, nitrates, some resins. Again, if they end up in our biosphere in too high a concentration, they damage people and nature.

Drilling for oil, fracking (extracting oil from rock and sand with harmful chemicals and high pressure), the mining of cobalt, salt mining all fall under 1 root cause, namely: we extract too many substances from our earth’s crust and that at a staggering rate.