Yet another climate protest against our use of fossil fuels. Spokes-persons berate us over air-waves driven by generated electricity carried by steel pylons cemented into the ground. They sit in a studio with its array of plastic frames carrying equipment for broadcast, chairs and tables to sit at made of wood, plastic and steel. They must all live close enough to a studio to walk, cycle or pedal-scooter, one assumes.
They must hand-harvest the wheat growing in their allotment, milk the cow for its milk & cheese and grow tomatoes. They bake bread by solar energy focused by huge magnifying glasses to make their cheese, tomato and cucumber sandwich for lunch.
When laid up with my collapsed disc problem (8 weeks in bed) I went onto Steam to try and find a game where I didn’t have to fight someone, drive a tank, fly a plane and die again because I’m crap at them.
I own Train Simulator and some pinball games and that satisfies my passive enjoyment. I came across Transport Fever, knocked down to seven quid because Transport Fever 2 is launching later this year.
“Get on with it Lugs! What’s this got to do with climate change protests” I imagine you shouting. “A good article engages the audience in the first few sentences”, FFS!
OK then. The idea of TF is that it generates a random map of terrain, towns, roads and industries. What you have to do is create transport (I prefer train) that delivers finished goods and fuel to a city so that it expands. Expansion makes money.
Here is a section of a map. You can see two towns and small objects with tiny icons. These are industries, manufacturing facilities, farms, quarries and finished goods premises.
If you were to click on one of those icons you might see something like this:-
This one is an Iron Ore mine. It doesn’t need any resources to churn out Iron Ore.
This is the Power Plant. You don’t get any power unless you deliver either oil or coal to it.
What this game is all about is Supply Chain. From raw materials to a new material, to finished goods.
Here is a steel supply chain:-
Start with Iron Ore, pick up the coal, deliver it to the steel mill and take the steel it into the city. I like rail so I add some goods rail depots but it could be by road.
Another industry makes construction material but it requires you to deliver either steel, and/or wooden planks. Wooden planks start with a forest where logs then go to a saw mill.
Here is part of an inter-connectivity map of industries, their requirements and output:-
If you provide the Requirement to the industry/facility you get the Product. The Product then becomes someone else’s Requirement.
To me this game describes a Supply Chain better than anything. The relevance to climate change activism is that they don’t have any understanding of the interconnectivity of industry. Its like the Woodblock Game:-
Remove the wrong block and it all collapses.
They want to do away with fossil fuels because of the carbon emission from cars and industry. The Government has pledged that they want us to over to electric cars by 2040:-
“consumer demand”? “majority of”? “significant zero emission capability”? I assume the latter means “hybrid petrol electric with the option to decide what you want to use”. I think its not a “put us up against the wall and shoot us if we don’t deliver” type of pledge. More like “best efforts with a fair wind” type pledge.
But the government is about to remove the monetary incentive:-
Recently, in the USA, cops in an electric car ran out of volts & amps when chasing a felon.
“Sorry we couldn’t get an ambulance to you Mrs Scraggs. There’s been no wind off the Devon coast for a week so we couldn’t get a full charge on the battery. Didn’t you get the Government warnings broadcast and leaflets. Surnames starting with A to K can drive on Monday, Wednesday and Friday………”
Seems to me there’s a lot of cement and steel involved in building a wind farm. Coal, iron ore and rock makes steel and cement. They need power to make it and transport to get it to where they need it.
You need to build and maintain the manufacturing premises by buying finished goods and materials. That requires electricity to power the computers that run the businesses and machine tool processes. Plastic, glass and metal for desks and chairs and offices.
We need farm vehicles and transport to provide the food to sustain the population and that requires power for the transport be it road or rail.
Planes need fuel to take business people to negotiations for business because without business you have no money and without money no infrastructure to bind society and provide jobs, which earn a salary to pay the taxes to build another wind farm.
And I could go on (as I am known for)!
You cannot target Co2 emissions without understanding the problem of an interconnected modern society. This morning on Talk Radio JHB discussing climate change with an Extinction Rebellion activist responded “The Industrial Revolution, what a great thing it was”. We will continue to evolve. Cars now do more mpg than ever before. Planes make do with two engines instead of three or four. The high speed internet means less travelling and possibly more productivity.
Cutting Co2 means a chain reaction in an industrialised connected World that has dire consequences. It is a noble thing to think of others but it is also a responsibility to look out for the daily needs of your family. Society is also knitted together by stable family units striving for their comfort and safety.
I suppose an answer is shown by Saul in Soylent Green. Have loads of children to cycle to put the electricity into the house generator and send them on the roof to clean the solar panels. It was, admittedly, a joke at an AOC rally when a woman shouted “Eat the babies”…….
I promise you I wrote the above before seeing this at GP:-
I 100% commend Transport Fever to any schoolkid. No-one gets killed and you learn about the interconnectivity of society and supply chains (as well as playing trains).
© Lugosi 2019
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