Hacking carbon emissions into Minecraft

James Smith's entry to the Stockholm Green Hackathon was a Minecraft mod that adds carbon emissions to the game, which revolves around resource extraction and use:

When you burn some wood in a furnace, the mod calls out to AMEEconnect to do a calculation, and adds the result to a tracker in-game. As the carbon ticks up, the environment gets more and more polluted as the skies go dark and the clouds come down. OK, not entirely accurate, but an effective visual indicator!

Of course, it’s not just wood. Loads of things burn, and not just in furnaces. The hack supports combustion of almost anything in minecraft; wood, planks, coal, tree saplings, and so on. I even put in some calculations for setting fire to cows (as any Minecraft player knows, an effective way to quickly get cooked beef). Even the hostile mobs like creepers have their emissions mapped (mostly to generic biomass calculations). I also added redstone (like electricity) emissions using AMEE’s realtime UK national grid data.

Of course, there are also ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Plant a tree, and AMEEconnect will work out how much carbon was taken up by the tree growing and reduce the tracker by that amount. After a long day of mining and smelting, you’ll have to go plant a few trees to keep the weather nice.

Hacking Carbon Emissions into Minecraft (via Waxy)


  1. Awesome sauce.  I dig Minecraft cause I want my own land on which to do my own thing, and this kind of sustainability arithmetic fits right in there.  Gamification ftw!

  2. After a long day of mining and smelting, you’ll have to go plant a few trees to keep the weather nice.

    Ah, if only keeping the weather nice were that easy.

  3. If I’m going to have to deal with carbon emissions in my Minecraft, I should at least be able to build a V-8 muscle car to enjoy while I destroy the environment.

  4. Yeah, thanks, I almost had fun.

    Hey, can someone mod diabetes into Skyrim? I’ve been eating too many boiled cream treats.

    1. Would a cure disease potion take care of that, or would you have to visit some wizard up in a tower for an experimental cure, like in Morrowind?

  5. Only if you let them return their carbon to the atmosphere after they die.  Bury them underground and they’re carbon negative. 

  6. Some hacker should make it an even more climatically accurate by adding a small probability that an Ice Age will reappear and the only way to stop it is run around and burn everything before the glaciers grow too big to stop (or can you build orbital mirrors in Minecraft?).  Of course, then you’d have some troll go dump a bunch of iron in the ocean just to help Jack Frost along…

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