Even as it makes plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, the European Union is gearing up to put some 50 coal plants on line in the next five years. Europeans’ distaste for nuclear energy and the relative cheap cost of coal — even when carbon permits are factored in — have made the black rock attractive for meeting rising demand. E.U. electric companies say they’re seeking out “clean” coal, an oxymoron that is unlikely to be feasible anytime soon. Any way you slice it, a slew of new coal plants means another five decades of dirty electricity in the E.U., which environmentalists say is pretty much a death sentence for the climate as we know it. Says ubiquitous NASA climate scientist James Hansen, “Given our knowledge about what needs to be done to stabilize climate, this plan is like barging into a war without having a plan for how it should be conducted, even though information is available.”