When I think about the "dark future" of coal, I'm thinking about strip mines that dig into historic towns in Germany (oh, boo hoo, relocate the church and everyone get on with life, right?)
To me, that's the whole problem with massive industry built on non-renewable resources. When the coal is just lying around on the surface of the desert, sure, pick it up and use it. But, that runs out - then we start digging for it in places that don't really matter, but those run out, and then we get a little closer to towns, streams that feed recreational lakes, and other places that you might rather not mine, but, hey, we need the coal, right?
You like electricity? How about heat? Air conditioning? Rapid transportation? How about food?
All of those things depend largely on "non-renewable resources". Coal, oil, and natural gas, mainly. Shut it all down, and we go back to a life primitive, brutish, and short.