Burning fossil fuels (and quite apart from climate change) produces "smoke" the unhealthy by-products from the burning "combustion" process and the fine particulates mix in with the air we breathe and waterways.
CO2 is heavier than air, invisible, odorless and hugs the earth to feed the soil, trees, plants and oceans, everything does better with a little carbon, that's how our world is made, but when part of a cars exhaust it flows like a river down your street bringing unhealthy particulates with it... directly affecting our health.
The good news is, technology like wind and solar will fix all of that because there is no combustion, no burning of fossil in the process of making electricity.
Recognizing where CO2 congregates (ponds) and places it doesn't (parched), is core to our technology, managing, directing and harnessing the flow of CO2.
Well misunderstood, or merely lacking in internet coverage, Professor Rattan Lal Director of Carbon Management and Sequestration Center Ohio State University points out 476 Gt of carbon has been emitted from farmland soils compared with 270 Gt emitted from the burning of fossil fuels.
More from soil than all the cars, power stations and cows? - but is relatively unknown information, especially when climate change is such a hot topic.
Let's imagine all our CO2 sinks become full (as is the climate problem) - the CO2 cannot escape hence it builds up and forms a greenhouse which heats the earth) but that's only IF all systems are FULL which is as climate scientist indicate - which only leaves the OCEAN which is approaching acidity levels indicating it has a lot of CO2 already - so the logic goes - each year we add CO2 to the atmosphere it accumulates - it adds to the previous. In the first year add 1% to become 101%. The second year add another 1% to become 2% cumulative or 102%. After 20 years it becomes 120%, that's a 20% increase even though it is a modest 1% per year. But WE know there's a big carbon sink that's just waiting - it's SOIL. Remember Professor Rattan Lal says soil has emitted CO2 - SO THE PLANET IS NOT FULL - it is capable of sequestering ALL of the CO2 but the trick is to clear the blockage and reverse the effects returning soil back to health, and absorb all the CO2 and becoe nutrient rich once again. Hence do not panic, we have a climate change FIX. The reason why the soil has "given up" its' CO2 is an indication it is unhealthy. The reason why "soil" is unhealthy is due to the high mechanization of industrialized farming and the relentless cutting and ploughing of the soil. We NOW KNOW soil is much like your skin which you don't want to cut. HENCE MAN DID IT SO MAN CAN UNDO IT... if he wants to.
It's no coincidence our hospitals are overfull with unhealthy people. WE NOW KNOW unhealthy soil produces unhealthy humans. As Hippocrates said so many years ago, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". To "fix" CO2 in the soil - to sequester CO2 into the soil - to make soil whole again so that it produces the food that nourishes... we simply need to stop cutting it, and find an alternative method of growing food... and it's called PERMACULTURE.
Burning coal and oil emitting CO2 is but the tip of the iceberg. When it comes carcinogenic poisonous by-products it might already be in your shampoo... well, I'm stretching the truth to make a point. The factory that produces your shampoo might have a toxic waste stream reaching the ocean - the dumping ground. The earth has many facilities that clean poisons when they are employed in the natural cycle, but does not manage the Unintended Consequence of man's methods to save money with the dumping of waste into the oceans - even nuclear waste has been dumped in barrels. in the meanwhile we poison ourselves while overloading Mother Nature and the systems we depend upon.