You may think that coal is fading away as a fuel, but it isn’t. It’s booming. Last year coal as a proportion of world energy was at its highest since the 1960s. A lot of the growth in coal use is happening in Asia, particularly China. But coal — the largest CO2 emitter among fossil fuels — is also in demand in Europe, including in ultra-green Germany. Much of Europe hates the idea of shale gas, preferring to rely on much more expensive imports from Russia and elsewhere. With no low-cost domestic gas supplies, coal is much cheaper than gas in Europe for utilities. In fact, they lose money burning gas.