In many stories, there is the idea about "planet essence" or something that:
- Can be extracted from the planet.
- Very useful for human industry once extracted.
- Has large reserve, but not very large. (or else water and air will be included). Exhaustion should be real, but not in near future.
- The extraction make the planet much less habitable for life, for a very long time (geological time).
- Not very obvious (should not include atmosphere, ocean, ground, fossil fuel, ...)
What is a real life candidate for this "planet essence", and with what mechanic?