What would you do without your cell phone and computer? How about your car? Could you function in modern society without these contemporary devices? All of these technological marvels require no fewer than 60 different elements to function, and these elements come from a finite supply of mineral commodities. These critical minerals are defined by their dollar value, the availability of substitutes, and their ever increasing demand. In a new EarthNote, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) outlines what makes a "mineral critical" and how the sudden loss of these resources could impact both the U.S. and global economy.