It really doesn't matter, how many employed. The facts are someone, somewhere is burning that coal along with a gazillion cars on the planet burning fossil fuels every single day.I am not a coal miner nor am I a supporter of coal, but you have to admit that coal's hold on the economy of the U.S.A. is enormous. Its political power in KY is even larger.
A Kentucky license plate:
There is in fact ten times more coal being mined now than there was in 1960, but only a tenth as many miners are doing the work. Machines have replaced men, but you cannot convince most miners of that no mater what statistics you show them. That is because the coal companies, some of them foreign owned, have such a hold on their thinking through propaganda.
It is no different than all those farmers ploughing those fields back in the 30's creating that man made disaster in a previous post. It is the Capitalism machine that just keeps marching on no matter what the cost. The model has to change to give the Environment top shelf value in that machine or it will continue to feed on itself. If we ignore that, then it won't be just be your kids quality of life will be gone forever. It will be yours as well.