Please take a look at balancing environment

Right now with full GDP environment only balances out at about 50% in my last USA play-though with most environmental policies maxed out.

Right now almost everything that improves environment is car related and redundant if you have electric cars.

To improve the environment simulation, environment negatives (and improvements) could be roughly balanced as 30% due to industry, 30% from power generation, 20% from all transport (including planes mass transit and shipping), and 20% from farms.

simplest improvement: re-balance so that environment can be improved to at least 80% at full GDP and improvement is only 20% from transportation sectors.

Hopefully there can be additional policies that effect environment.

First as noted in another thread reforestation should affect environment. Second there should be a lot more farm related policies. Third policies that green electricity generation should improve environment. Fourth industrial pollution should be completely zeroed out (account for 20-30% of the environment problem) by maxed pollution controls even if the controls are balanced by a bigger hit to the GDP.

Some policies i would like to see in the game:
farm waste treatment
pesticide restrictions
payment for ecosystem services
regulate agricultural runoff (the more technical and wider impacting terminology for this is regulating non-point source pollution)

I hope people can add to this thread any other environmental related polices they would like to see.

For more details and solutions see the thread linked below. For this post i just want to summarize the issue.


I just ran across this in my news feed and wanted to reference this here. Farm waste is a big deal in the USA. (the description of the “lagoon and spray-field system” is just horrendous. can you imagine living near that?)

Where does this manure — not to mention pig urine, as well — go? Into the air, largely. North Carolina farms typically use what’s called a “lagoon and sprayfield” system in which animal waste is stored in massive, open vats. It’s then sprayed back into the air to fertilize crops. That’s a way to save money for farmers.

But people (and disproportionately Black and brown people) have to live near these farms. They have to live with the smell of pig waste in the air, every day. They have to live with pig waste in their water, and with (according to a recent Duke study) a higher risk of death due to their proximity to these farms.

1 Like

Now that you have finished France perhaps take a look at the environment? :slight_smile:

@cliffski I dont know if you have seen this but i think the environment needs a balance. Also i think with some extra related policies it can become a more significant mechanic.

Something i would add to what i wrote above is that there is some mixing of environmental and CO2 effects. Airplanes have very negative CO2 effects but not really very negative environmental effects except right around airports. Shipping has very negative environmental effects and CO2 effects (eg. bunker fuel), but not locally so i think its fine not to include this in environment. Cars should not be more that 20% of an environmental solution.

Maybe environment at 50% when GDP at 100% is working as intended? I could see it as a balancing mechanism to make it more difficult to get high GDP but i dont think this is really how it works. Generally high GDP means cleaner environment; both from transitioning to service economy and more money to spend on anti-pollution measures. One thing i was surprised to find is that USA actually has better air quality than Europe due to stricter standards.

I am definitely open to changes to the enviornment modelling to improve this area of the game, although given the sprawling complexity of the game in general, I do think that a granularity of pollution modelling that goes into further detail might be overcomplicating things.

I’m at my laptop right now, but I assumed that reforestation already affects the environment, but will make a note to check this tommorow… It definitely should do, as reforestation should not juct capture CO2, but improve air quality, and the visual enviornment too (plus I guess help in general wildlife terms).

Why should policies that change electricity generation affect the environment outside of the CO2 link? Are you thinking about groundwater pollution from fracking? (This is already covered elsewhere) or maybe nuclear waste?

1 Like

It is easy to conflate CO2 with environmental impact. Have to think carefully about each factor. For instance airplanes have a strong effect on environment but i think they should not effect environment, just CO2.

Most electric energy is generated by fossil fuels which are very dirty. This is a major contributor to air pollution. Clean energy policies should have an environmental impact if they encourage a switch from combustion to some other generation method. Right now in the game i dont think most energy policies help environment.

I would like to keep the changes simple. Just the following 3 things could rebalance:

  • right now car policies are the major way to improve environment. There is a double counting here as most clean car policies effect electric transition and then both electric transition and all the other clean car policies effect environment. Just let them effect electric transition (maybe call it clean transportation) and let that alone effect environment. Let transportation only be 20% environmental improvement

  • Pollution controls for factories should be both more effective and more expensive at the top end. let this get rid of at least 60% of the environmental problem but be very expensive at top end.

  • reforestation improves pollution event but does not help environment. This is something else to look at for consistency as I’m not sure if everything that effects pollution event also effects environment.

I did mention i would like to see more land use policies as i think that could be interesting but that’s more policies and more complex then just a balance change.

  • dams may flood and destroy huge areas
  • mining operations related to coal
  • particularly dirty power plants don’t just put out CO2 but all kinds of other pollution, some visible, some smellable, some just invisibly poisonous
  • plenty of people (not me though) consider wind farms a huge eye sore and also claim the noise drives them crazy
  • electric poles themselves can also get quite noisy and are also often considered an eyesore

I’ve mentioned before that I like the increased challenge with the environment, but at present it’s one of those values that you mysteriously can’t max, making me assume there’s policies on the horizon for it. Naturally I have a long list of such policies:
-Packaging standards - I know you can already ban single use plastics in a decision, but maybe a policy?
-Pollution Criminalisation - Enforcing fines for littering and incorrect recycling and criminalising tipping and the use of inefficient fuels in open fires.
-Sustainability tax breaks - Tax relief for industries that achieve measurable levels of sustainability, guiding the market
-Gardening Campaign - A 2 capital minor policy promoting personal and civic gardening. Tiny environmental effect from greenery clearing air in urban centres. Mostly good for environmentalist popularity
-Nature Conservation (From Africa) - This policy may’ve been eclipsed, but I believe an environmental trust that conserves (and more importantly, monetises and creates jobs) from protected areas is quite relevant.
-Cloud Labour Initiative - (a higher cost expansion of the telecommuting initiative) A set of standards legislating for and subsidising remote work, supporting infrastructure allowing working from home including cloud office centres in rural areas, reducing the need to commute.
-Green Building Initiative - A costly policy that prioritises green building, while attempting vast eco-friendly vanity structures such as Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, China’s Liuzhou Forest City or Bosco Verticale vertical forest skyscraper in Milan. Supports eco-standards, but more importantly creates a symbol of dedication to environmentalism in/near capital cities, boosting tourism.


I think you dropped a piece there

Actually, as far as I heard, this could end up being quite significant. Depends on the kind of garden though. Grass is no good, but if you have a bunch of trees - effectively a mini-forest of sorts - it could be quite powerful. If you took together all gardening areas around the world, they’d actually be larger than all the rainforests (even several years ago - they are shrinking rapidly)

I guess it’d depend on how heavily you campaign for it. If it’s just grass it’d actually worsen the water shortage 'cause people are gonna water their massive water-thirsty lawns. In that case it’d actually even be counterproductive.

1 Like

well this is sort of interesting because part of my work is drawing attention to the importance of grass in urban settings to provide for infiltration. Grass may not make sense in dry climates such as American southwest but it is the natural ground cover in wetter climates and most importantly provides urban cooling and infiltration. There is another conversation about maintenance. Its is a problem to keep highly maintained lawns, moistly due to pesticide and fertilizer use (again wetter climates water use is not the problem). Right now there is a lot of focus on low maintenance grass and i think this is an excellent environmental option for urban areas. “water thirsty lawns” is more a local American southwest problem.

1 Like

That’s fair though I still would think other options might be better.
I definitely agree grass’s gonna be better than, like, concrete floors or what ever people. Cooling and overflow protection are both much better with some greenery, certainly.