Some say that life itself has changed the forces in plate tectonics, and helped to shape the world. bbc
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p02ppmtp.mp3 Plate Tectonics and Life. BBC Discovery. 29 min.
Why is Earth the only planet with plate tectonics? And, when did they start? The clues are so faint, the traces so ephemeral, that researchers are only now beginning to find tentative answers.
Robert Hazen. Mineral fodder. aeon
Roger Buick. UW Earth and Space Science. uw
Michael Carr, USGS Mars Mission Scientist. search
Patrice Rey, University of Sydney. Geoscience.
Minerals yield signs of early plate tectonics. nature
New origin seen for Earth's tectonic plates. nature
One of the more convincing arguments is that without chlorophyll most solar radiation turns to heat and radiates back into space. With chlorophyll a new energy source many times more powerful than geothermal ignites chemical processes driven by redox reactions. wikipedia
See Mineral LIfe for the emergence of replicators that might discover chlorophyll.