You want something that's tangible? How about digital cameras. NASA pushed the companies to come up with technology so that they could grab those "pretty pictures of space" and be able to send them home. You can't send home rolls to be developed from deep space. Which is how the digital camera age came to be...
Just think... all those developers/chemicals that are now defunct.... they contained silver particles and usually went down the drain into our systems. No longer. All the wasted chemicals and paper on photos that were not worth printing and went into the trash... folks wondering what they did wrong. Now... no more waste... just keep the ones you want. And most folks are getting less printed since they are easier to pass around and view digitally which translates to less paper usage.
For me the bottom line is entropy. The universe is designed so that everything breaks down, wears down, falls apart. Once we have mined all the metals and ores, once we have used all the energy supplies such as natural gas and coal and oil... what then? Solar? Maybe. Point being that it will take eons for more of those energy sources to form again. We don't have eons... more like decades. Maybe in the future on other planets we won't take it for granted. But it's not like we always knew this was the path we were on. Did they know in the early 1900s that we would be running out already? If so we would have been more careful/frugal. So like a tribe that has eaten all the animals and fruits in a given area... we move on... forge forward. Look for new challenges and new horizons. All the while trying to fix what's going on here.... but not shutting down our options. Probably our only option unless you know of a wormhole to an alternate reality with planets suitable for colonization.
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