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Photosynthesis provides food directly to plants and, as a byproduct, creates oxygen which is needed to get the most energy from that food, turning it back into water, carbon dioxide, and energy. Almost all life on Earth depends either directly or indirectly on photosynthesis.

Most of the energy used by humans to power our modern society comes from fossil fuels, whose energy was harnessed from the sun by photosynthesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis