Get energy, burn, repeat

A lizard requires more energy to make than a lizard’s-worth of E. coli, but it consumes more energy at a greater rate. A world that contains both lizards and bacteria, then, is energetically favored over a world of only bacteria. A world that also includes warm-blooded cows, munching grass and emitting heat, methane, and fertilizer, is an even better entropy engine; one with tigers is better still.
It is the ecosystem that is energetically favored: A lush green Earth teeming with life pulls more heat out of the hot center of the planet and out of the sun, releasing it into cold, dark space, than does, say, Mars. Our biosphere is but a sophisticated icepack for the sun.
A giant dissipation engine came on the scene with Homo sapiens. The history of technology is ultimately one of developing ever more powerful methods of extracting energy from the earth and sun: fire, cooking, agriculture, mining, smelting, logging, steam engines.