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  • Dror Margalit

Humanity's Environmental Choice

Humanity has a choice to make, and we need to make it fast. We can either act now to solve the climate crisis or continue in the same direction we are heading now. By simulating "humanity's environmental choice", I attempted to present how difficult it is to fix our damage to the environment once it is done.

Find sketch here

In this simulation, users can choose to burn fossil fuels or plant trees. Each choice affects the amount of Co2 in the atmosphere in different ways. If one chooses to burn more fossil fuels, the Co2 levels will go up, causing global warming, extreme weather, and sea level rise. If they choose to plant trees, the Co2 levels will go down, regulating the atmosphere.

Similar to real life, the way the climate is affected by the changes is not linear: the more carbon there is in the atmosphere, the harder it gets to plant trees and reduce the Co2 levels. Once the Co2 level gets above 450, it is almost impossible to restore the climate.

The choice to begin at 419 Co2 parts per million (PPM) and make 450 "the point of no return" is not arbitrary. Today's Co2 PPM is 419, and some scientists estimate that once we reach 250, the damage caused by climate change will be irreversible.

Making of Games Vs. Climate Change

In making this simulation, I wanted to simulate the unbalanced relationship between methods to emit Co2 to the ones to take it out of the atmosphere. To do that, I created different classes for "fossil fuel" and "trees". While fossil fuels add 2 Co2 PPM per click, the trees exponentially add less with more Co2 in the atmosphere. This means that the more Co2 there is in the atmosphere, the harder it is to take it out.

The rest of the sketch included conditioning different elements to the Co2 PPM, such as the level of the sea, the growth rate of the clouds, and the color of the sky.

Thanks to Mary(ia) Markhvida, who helped me develop the logic for exponential growth.

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