The Angry Ghosts Of Climate Change

Fossil fuels were alive once. We shouldn’t have dug them up
4 min readNov 19, 2019


Like this except plankton

Don’t build your hotel on a graveyard. Don’t open scary tombs. Anyone who’s watched 15 minutes of a horror movie can tell you this, yet this is how we’ve built our entire civilization.

We dig up and burn the dead. That’s what fossil fuels are. They’re dead lifeforms, compressed, squashed and hidden away in the Earth. An oil field is a graveyard. A coal mine is a tomb.

Fossil fuels are haunted, and burning them has released a bunch of gassy ghosts. That’s what’s causing climate change today.

What Are Fossil Fuels?

Until recently I honestly thought that fossil fuels were dinosaurs, but no. That would be cool but no. Dinosaurs are fossils, much softer things became fuel. Fossil fuels are tiny sea plants, tiny seafood and plants.

It’s hard to imagine plants being malevolent, but by God they are angry that we disturbed their tombs.

Here’s a quick and woefully inadequate primer on what fossil fuels are.

Phytoplankton make oil


You wouldn’t think it from the Middle East being dry as a bone, but the source of oil is tiny, often microscopic sea plants. Phytoplankton. These proto-plants harnessed energy from the sun, and took it to their graves.

Zooplankton make natural gas

Natural Gas

Some slightly bigger creatures ate those plants. When these zooplankton died, they became compressed into natural gas. If you compress a laksa for a million years I guess you get energy.

Coal/Methane = Plants

Coal comes closer to our visible reality. It is the compressed carcasses of plants. These woody…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at