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Environment Effects


MikeSierra
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A couple of items I feel need to be discussed, what with the new changes to the effects of the environment.

Owning Nuclear Weapons Affects Environment

I believe that the negative environmental effects of simply owning one or more nuclear weapons should be dropped. What possible justification is there for the negative environmental impact of simply owning a nuclear weapon?

It can't be a radiation effect... there simply isn't enough radiation coming from a nuclear warhead to negatively affect the environment. I worked in the Radiation Protection field for seven years, so believe me, I know what the effects of radiation are and how much exposure is required. If there was enough radiation being emitted from a nuclear weapon sitting in a silo to negatively affect the environment, then the vast majority of Canada, Australia, and any other country with large deposits of uranium would be a barren wasteland. It also can't be the missile component of the nuclear weapon. After all, cruise missiles and the Space Program wonder don't have any negative environmental impact, yet both require large rockets, and there's no real world justification for an unused rocket to affect the environment of an entire country.

If it is supposed to be due to the manufacturing process, then why would it increase with the number of nukes made? Given that you can only manufacture one nuke at a time in the game, this implies that you only have one manufacturing center (or two, if the new Weapon Research Complex is implemented as written, and it already has its own environmental penalty), so any environmental effect should be independent of the number of nukes owned. Even if it were somehow tied to the maintenance of the nuclear weapons (i.e. periodically manufacturing new warheads as old ones decay), given that you purchase them over a span of time, the maintenance required would also be spread out, so the environmental effect should not increase with the number of nukes owned.

The only remaining rationale for the environmental penalty to exist and to scale with the number of nukes owned is that it is somehow tied to the silos themselves. Although I can't imagine how that makes sense, let's assume for a moment that this is the case. The nuclear silo is going to be limited to a very small area, so even if it has some local environmental impact, how does it affect the environment of the entire nation? Which brings up the next point:

Environmental Affects and Land Area

Let's take two nearly identical countries, with equal levels of infrastructure and technology, the same resources, and the same environmental factors. The only difference between the two countries is one is twice the physical size of the other (we'll assume that their population densities are 10 and 20). How is it that negative environmental factors affect both equally?

Let's assume the countries both import coal, which they burn for electricity, thus creating the environmental penalty. Since they have the same amount of infrastrucure, tech, population, etc., they should require the same amount of electricity, and thus burn the same amount of coal. In the larger country, the smoke from the plants will disperse over a larger area, reducing the concentration of pollutants in the air, thus having a lesser effect on the population and local environment as a whole. The larger country should also have more green space, which would further reduce the environmental impact.

One of the arguments in favour of the new environmental changes was that it makes the environmental score more meaningful. Fair enough. But as it stands now, land area is virtually meaningless. Once you've reduced your population density to an acceptable number, there's no reason to have more land. Allowing greater land area to moderate environmental affects would at least give another reason to have a physically large nation.

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good points. please consider that: from what I know, "environment" is not only meant in terms of "nature" and "surrounding", but also "political and social atmosphere". Thats the same thing why env suffers if you have too many soldier or too few literacy or too few tech. Basically the env-penalty on a sliding scale simulates that the population becomes uncomfortable with a large amount of nuclear warheads within the nation. At least that is how I understand it.

In addition to that, I think the damage increase with the techchange pays off for higher maintainance costs from the environmental penalty.

Regarding land, I agree, but I would base it not on the total land but on some kind of density. Maybe adding a bonus to env which equals your infra/land value.

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good points. please consider that: from what I know, "environment" is not only meant in terms of "nature" and "surrounding", but also "political and social atmosphere". Thats the same thing why env suffers if you have too many soldier or too few literacy or too few tech. Basically the env-penalty on a sliding scale simulates that the population becomes uncomfortable with a large amount of nuclear warheads within the nation. At least that is how I understand it.
That may be the case, but that does not explain how the effects from the environmental penalties come into play. Why should nuclear nations make less money than non-nuclear nations, especially when you consider that the top four nuclear powers in the world (US, Russia, UK, France) are G8 nations? Why would possessing nuclear weapons decrease the population when you consider that the three most populus nations (China, Indiia, and the US) all have nuclear weapons? Possession of nuclear weapons may have an effect on the "political and social atmosphere", but where is the evidence for that having the kinds of in-game effects that are currently in place.
In addition to that, I think the damage increase with the techchange pays off for higher maintainance costs from the environmental penalty.
Considering that nukes were already capable of inflicting an unrealistic amount of damage (I wish I had kept a copy of, or a link to, my analysis of what a nuke should realistically be capable of in-game), I'm not sure that their being capable of doing more damage now is a good thing either.
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I agree with both of you to an extent...

Im not sure that I fully agree that environment should encapsulate political influences, but I guess it is a broad use of the word...

I understand that owning nukes might make them angry, but wouldnt it make them feel safe? If it were to be a political issue about the people being uncomfortable, wouldnt it simply pertain to the fact that they have nukes AT ALL (regardless of the number of nukes).

As for land.... I fully support that idea. Its ridiculous to assume that land has no influence on environment. Look at parts of Brazil or Canada.... land makes for a beautiful environment.

Thats just my 2c

-SW

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I agree its completely a logical point for both if political and social atmosphere were also included in environment I would and do feel safer knowing I have nukes both in cybernations, and living in the U.S. knowing if we are nuked we have the ability to nuke back. Also I do think there should be temporary penalty for building nukes but not always since it simply isn't realistic as MikeSierra proved. And cybernations is meant to be as real life as possible correct?

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good points. please consider that: from what I know, "environment" is not only meant in terms of "nature" and "surrounding", but also "political and social atmosphere". Thats the same thing why env suffers if you have too many soldier or too few literacy or too few tech. Basically the env-penalty on a sliding scale simulates that the population becomes uncomfortable with a large amount of nuclear warheads within the nation. At least that is how I understand it.

This is correct and is why things like government type are part of environment. It is not that certain government types are dirty, but rather it takes into consideration the political atmosphere that certain types of governments could create.

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I agree that the environmental impact probably does not make too my RL sense but I think that this change balances out something that a lot of people got really angry about: the changes made to NS calculations based on number of nukes held which have alogarithmic effect on NS as number of nukes rise. Some were angry that this entrenched nuclear capabilities too much since those who have nukes got a very large bump in NS making it more difficult for those with none to ever get to the top 5%. Perhaps the new environmental cost of nukes will provide a bit more of a disincentive for holding 20 nukes.

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This is correct and is why things like government type are part of environment. It is not that certain government types are dirty, but rather it takes into consideration the political atmosphere that certain types of governments could create.

This opens up a whole other kettle of fish... Logically, doing something that increases the happiness of your citizens (such as establishing international trades that allow for the creation of luxury items, i.e. bonus resources) improves the social atmosphere, and therefore should improve the environment. Yet somehow it only works the other way around, whereby a decrease in the environment reduces the population happiness? :huh:

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What about just giving nukes a larger upkeep cost instead of making them negatively effect environment? It does cost a lot to maintain them... the components are only good for so long.

I don't see anyone emigrating from the U.S. because we have nukes, and I haven't heard of anyone being killed by them. I think most Americans are happy that we have nuclear arms, actually. Probably is the same in every nuclear-armed nation.

*Londo Mollari scratches his head.

Edited by Londo Mollari
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What about just giving nukes a larger upkeep cost instead of making them negatively effect environment? It does cost a lot to maintain them... the components are only good for so long.

I don't see anyone emigrating from the U.S. because we have nukes, and I haven't heard of anyone being killed by them. I think most Americans are happy that we have nuclear arms, actually. Probably is the same in every nuclear-armed nation.

*Londo Mollari scratches his head.

Mmmm, let's consider the US gamewise;

Has a relatively high land to infra and a relatively low population/mile ratios. Check.

Is Democracy and has a progressive environmental agenda. Check.

High Tech Levels. Check.

Compare it to the late Soviet Union and you'll see that the logic in this update is sound.

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Mmmm, let's consider the US gamewise;

Has a relatively high land to infra and a relatively low population/mile ratios. Check.

Is Democracy and has a progressive environmental agenda. Check.

High Tech Levels. Check.

Compare it to the late Soviet Union and you'll see that the logic in this update is sound.

Soviet had higher land to infra ratios, and rather high tech levels...

However, the part about the US progressive enviromental agenda is something you might want to check up on ;)

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lol, let's not turn this into a RL political debate shall we about the US's environmental record. :wacko:

Anyway I do think that that it doesn't make a lot of sense for realism that nukes hurt environment. It's neither a positive or a negative in most countries that have nukes, and most of the impact is in regards to uranium mining and such which is already accounted for. However for game play purposes it makes sense and probably should stay.

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