Digging up bodies

Facile “carbon dioxide is not pollution” soundbites ignore simple science.

A few billion years ago Earth’s atmosphere contained no oxygen. Plants produced it by storing carbon from the atmosphere in their bodies, which were buried and became fossil fuels, enabling oxygen-breathing animals to evolve. As we dig up and burn this stored carbon, we reverse the process and the atmosphere returns to its original state. Whether or not you call it pollution, at some point, we will no longer be able to breathe it.

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