Many solid structures rarely sprung into existence without enough time and effort from biology. They use the raw materials available to them in their proximity, and turn them into simple hydrocarbons. From sugar to starch. From starch to cellulose. From cellulose to hemicellulose. And finally, hemicellulose to lignin. All are Broken Down through time or intentionally, for our own profit.
Today it’s common knowledge. To know the wonders of photosynthesis and how it affects us in our daily life. The once flourishing plant life and majestic woods, died and sunk deeper into the ground. The warm temperature from below and high pressures from above sat the low temperature pyrolysis in motion. The tarry substance left, mixed in with diverse minerals from rocks and soil, became known as crude oil. It once was a problematic discovery, to find that your only source of water was filled with this black smelly liquid. Until chemistry had it’s triumph with distilling the liquid. A completely new source for heat, light and energy.
On a completely different timescale. The naturally available solids are, intentionally, turned into profitable substances. The age-old practice of turning fermented sugars and starches into ethyl alcohol, is a classic use of nature for fuel and recreation. To give you a profitable source of energy and effective psychoactive drug to relax. The more complex cellulose needs more skill and engineering to make use of. Many contraptions have been built, in time of crisis, to convert the complex chains of hydrocarbons into combustible fuel. Yet another source of profitable energy, from nature.
Mankind has no end in breaking down nature for his own profit, His own greed has always been the force driving the development.