Why is coal even a choice anymore?

While taking a class on environmental conservation I was shocked to learn that some countries around the world still promote coal burning furnaces in homes.

For the life of me I just don’t understand this. Here in the US there are some homes that still use this for heat as well but those systems are filtered more than those found in countries such as China where the emissions from this genre of fuel are just free in the air. Coal is still a viable option as far as cost goes for several people but with all the health concerns neighbord with it, I am surprised that anyone would want to use it! The toxic gases that are emitted when it burns are easily dangerous. In other countries where there are not organizations such as the EPA people are free to choose the genre of fuel they want with no regard to what it is doing to their family or the surrounding environment, but even those who toil in the coal mines think the dangers of breathing in the dust from the process. Why would anyone want to risk this in their own home where they are raising a family? The class I was taking was unquestionably interesting plus made me guess about how I was going to heat my own home someday. I think, if possible, I will be using solar or geothermal energy to heat plus cool my home. This will have the least amount of impact on my surrounding world plus I suppose that it is important after hearing the effects from other options.