While our ancestors have been around for about six million years, the modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it is only about 6,000 years old, and industrialisation started in the earnest only in the 1800s.
The Industrial Revolution marked the the beginning of the major use of fossil fuels as our primary source of energy, namely coal. This began around the mid-1700s.
But if humans/our ancestors have been roaming the Earth for around six million years, why have we only began to use fossil fuels in the past few hundred?
Why did it take humans so long to fully utilise fossil fuels?