The Green Future – Sims style

Thinking about solutions to global warming can be stressful and depressing but this new simulation is uplifting and informative. Pic courtesy of InfoGraphicsShowcase

Nuclear power? Hmmm…high effort but decent output. Any accidents would be tragic. Verdict: Build 13 more power stations, and hope the number doesn’t jinx anything.

Wind turbines on land…yeah, they’re good, look cool (sometimes) but allegedly threaten surrounding bird populations. My mum feeds pigeons. Verdict: Add 10,000 new ones. Mum can feed squirrels instead.

Decrease home temperatures from 17.5C to 16C? Why not? Cool kids wear big jumpers.

These are the types of world-changing decisions we’ve been making all morning, thanks to the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s new online strategy simulation that allows you to come up with various ideas for reducing carbon emissions to 20% of 1990 levels without bringing the country to a grinding halt.

The visualisations are crisp, giving you an idea of what Britain will look like in 2050 with your strategies

Best of all, the fantastic graphics show turbines and electric cars fading into the landscape as you make your choices, perhaps a promising games franchise beckons?

The best thing, however, about this game is that it gives you a genuine sense of the difficult decisions that lie ahead of us in dealing with climate change: The key to the simulation is, as any user of strategy games like Sid Meier’s Civilisation series knows, trade-offs: Using every Green strategy to the max will get you down to 5% but you’ll end up with an extremely wasteful – and unsustainable – future, which kind of defeats of the point. For such a notoriously complicated subject, the simulation manages to make the issues simple without losing any substance and sustaining interest. In an age of political apathy and with an uncertain future, we can think of few better initiatives. Even better, another version should be out later this year and will include costing into it, mending the one major element missing from the game.

So, the choice is yours: Will you turn Britain into a world-leader in Green technologies and lifestyle choices? Or will you send the country back to the Dark Ages?

One thing is for sure:

To learn more about what you can do (and access the brilliant simulation), visit the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s homepage.

BA

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