… is from page xxxii of the 2003 Third Edition of economic historian Eric Jones’s 1981 book, The European Miracle:
Resources are a function of the available technology, and have no economic meaning until a technology has been invented to employ them. The North American Indians knew about oil but had no conception or means of using it as petroleum.
DBx: Yes. Resources (as opposed to raw materials) are created and produced by human ingenuity. And so because human creativity is open-ended, the notion that there is a fixed amount of resources on earth, or even in any region of earth, is economically mistaken. See the work of the late, great Julian Simon.
Pictured here is one of the oil-drilling rigs erected by Edwin Drake.