Cars and the Environment

I have noticed through my playthroughs that Car Usage itself influences the Environment, rather than the CO2 emissions that are also calculated. To me, this is nonsensical, and often leads to situations in my games where despite having 0 CO2 emissions, Car Usage is the driving factor (besides GDP (more of that later)) behind my worsening environment and my unsolvable respiratory disease crisis.

I suppose I can understand the argument of Car Usage itself making respiratory disease worse, as an asthmatic I well remembered the (albeit ignored) advice I received from doctors in my childhood to try to walk to school as it would strengthen my lungs, weakening the effects of the asthma. However, for this same reason, surely Bus Usage and Train Usage would effect it. Instead, it is the “polluter” of the commuting options, the Cars, which seems to imply the reason for the impact is on pollutant grounds rather than inactivity.

As such, I feel like we need to do the following:

  1. a) Add Bus Usage and Rail Usage as impacts on Respiratory Disease contributors, but at a lesser level than Cars.
    b) Remove Car Usage from the impacts and replace it with CO2 Emissions, in order to actually represent the problem of “Car Fumes” stated in the crisis description, which is solvable through having fume-less electric cars.

  2. Take away the impact Cars have on the Environment, and replace it with CO2 Emissions. It always seemed weird that CO2 didn’t influence the Environment. This way, we can still measure the impact Cars have, but through the medium of their emissions, rather than by nature of being 4 wheeled chunks of metal. This makes it so it’s viable to do an electric-car focussed playthrough, instead of being forced, as I always am, to switch to a staunchly anti-motorist stance, banning travel all together, to fend off the crisis.

I can understand that there’s an argument that Electric Cars still impact the environment, as the energy has to come from the National Grid, which is often powered by coal or oil. However, we don’t simulate the pollution the National Grid produces, and if we did, we could still remove this problem through the usage of Clean Energy Subsidies, Microgeneration Generation Grants, Mandatory Microgeneration, Nuclear Fission, etc etc. There is no need for a direct link of Car Usage to Environment.


Yeah it’s strange that all the trouble of modelling the rate of electric car transition was made, and yet the point of doing that in modelling the potential carbon neutrality of automotive transportation was not followed through with.

I also enjoy the idea of electric cars creating the new problem of being power-hungry machines that need their energy provided by the state rather than imported petroleum. It’s a genuine problem. This forum has addressed power structures before also


I think that in general the whole system around cars and the environment needs a rebuild rather than tweaks.


Yeah, it need some rethinking so, let’s bring some data:

Color Matching: green-agriculture, grey-extracting industries, black-manufacturing industries,
pink-construction, yellow-utilities, olive-other services, purple-transportation&storage, blue-homes.

The data there corresponds to air polutants in Spain in 2018, extracted from the National Institute of Estatistics.

As we can see, for most polutants the main poluter is agriculture folowed by the manufacturing industry and homes.
The probem begins when we take in acount that the main polution tread in cities are both NOx and CO, that cause smog, for which cars, especially old cars, are a rellevant poluter.

And regarding CO2equivalent:

From the top, homes, transportation&storage, other services, construction, utilities, manufacturing industries, extracting industries, agriculture.

As we see, industry, folowed by utilities, homes, agriculture and transport are the main pollutants.


That’s fascinating! I had no idea agriculture was such an offender. Do you know what the proposed solutions to “greening” agriculture could be? (as quaint as that sounds)


It depends on the polutant:

  • For reducing metane produce less rumminant milk and meet is the easy choice, but we are also seing that introduce small quantities of algae or allium in their rations reduce it at great levels.
  • For reducing nitrogen based pollutants it almost always comes back to better managing of manure and better use of fertilizers.
  • Regarding particulate matter I assume it is something like reduce tillage, but I am not sure.
  • And for CO we shouldn’t worry, it is only a problem in enclosed spaces.

That’s cool. I’d love to see that stuff reflected in some farming standards work if this game ever gets a climate overhaul.


It’s not entirely illogical that cars impact the environment, after all, cars require extraction of resources from the natural world.

Road building increase should also correspond to higher respiratory disease, because the level of pollutants on roads is dramatically higher, even if you just step off the road for a few tens of metres (a few dozen feet), then the pollution levels fall off dramatically, of course what level of impact percentage wise this has on RD, is not known to me.