Life on earth started approximately 3.5 billion years ago. On earth's surface there was a finite quantity of carbon, among other finite building blocks of life. Organisms absorb this carbon, then they die. After death the organisms carbon (and other life essential ingredients) are released and used again by the next organism that requires it. Thus there is a cycle. I have released that over time, many organisms have been lost before their matter can be recycled. They become oil. Now supposing humans never existed, this carbon would be removed from the surface of earth throughout the course of time. If the carbon is being removed fast enough then there may come a time when there is not enough carbon left to sustain life. So, while sudden changes may upset the system. In the long run (say, a billion years) Would the release of carbon not secure the future prosperity of biological life? I'm having a real hard time with this idea because I really do respect the planet I live on and the notion of us causing irreversible damage to it is heartbreaking. I hate deforestation, war, everything that involves putting humans far above the rest of life. Yet I cannot get my head past the idea that releasing oil is a good thing (on a geological time scale). The last thing I'd want is give the go ahead to the oil industry. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?