|He should be consoled knowing that it is a renewable source|
In essence, coal and oil are biomass. Millions of years ago they were plants and plankton, and now they are well aged energy sources that, unlike fine wines or scotches that improve with age, we don't label as adoringly as we do biomass. So how is burning biomass cleaner than fossil fuels? It isn't-- whether measured by CO, CO2, or particulate emissions.
Biomass is not only dirty like fossil fuels, it requires a lot of energy to produce. In most production situations, biomass represents a net loss of energy, i.e., it takes more energy to produce than is gained from it.
On top of all of these things, biomass represents the replacement of food and water with this dirty fuel. Internationally, there is a dire shortage of both food and water. Biomass compounds this worldwide crisis by redirecting crop land into a dirty energy producer, and using massive amounts of water to do so.
Even worse, biomass has contributed to deforestation, exacerbating ecosystem changes and loss of habitat for many species. Dependency on biomass has also been linked to climate change.
Yes, it makes little environmental sense, but plants are being built nationwide in the U.S. with tax subsidies because they help meet "renewables" portfolio standards. They also make little financial sense, but that is where the host of state and federal tax credits or other incentives come in.
The world is deciding between harnessing the energy of the atom, developed by the smartest minds of the modern age (like Einstein), and reverting to the technology of a caveman.