Haber-Bosch Process

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pages: 342 words: 88,736

The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis by Ruth Defries

agricultural Revolution, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, double helix, European colonialism, food miles, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, out of africa, planetary scale, premature optimization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, social intelligence, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

With no limits on abundant nitrogen gas in the air, humanity’s struggle for fixed nitrogen escaped its reliance on clover, excrement, and microbes, although it took another war before the power of the Haber-Bosch process for peaceful use was fully realized. The Haber-Bosch process had reached the United States by the beginning of World War II. American factories used it to produce munitions. At the end of the war, the machinery and know-how to make explosives remained in place, but the demand was gone. The US government, seeking new uses for munitions factories, like the one at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, supported scientists in agricultural colleges, hoping to improve and spread the use of nitrogen fertilizers. The Haber-Bosch process became a mainstay of American agriculture after World War II.

With the 1914 outbreak of World War I, Germany’s motivation for synthesizing large amounts of nitrogen switched from producing grain to producing implements of war. Germany had lost its access to the British-controlled Chilean source. With little domestic supply to produce munitions, BASF ramped up the Haber-Bosch process. After the war, the British victors inspected German factories, hoping to learn how the enemy had managed to produce so many explosives. But the British could not replicate the process, until they found a few German engineers willing to sell their secrets, at a price. The Haber-Bosch process spread to Britain and soon became its main source of fixed nitrogen. Industrial espionage joined trade, conquest, and the spread of ideas from one farmer to another in the roster of how humanity accumulated knowledge to resolve the conundrums of settled life.

More grain meant more animals at the trough, which meant more people enjoying meat, eggs, and dairy more often. Four out of ten people alive at the beginning of the third millennium were subsisting on foods that farmers would not have been able to produce without fertilizer made with the Haber-Bosch process, including grains to feed meat- and dairy-producing animals. There is no mistaking that the Haber-Bosch process was one of humanity’s all-time pivot points, changing diets and ratcheting up the number of mouths that the world’s supply of food could feed. The Haber-Bosch pivot ratcheted up the success of our species, but the success is tragically uneven.


Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production by Vaclav Smil

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of gunpowder, Louis Pasteur, Pearl River Delta, precision agriculture, recommendation engine, The Design of Experiments

In January 1998 a group of Japanese researchers reported on obtaining a moderate NH3 yield after a 24-hour treatment of the tungsten dinitrogen with dihydrogen at atmospheric pressure and 55 °C, and in October 1998 two Greek chemical engineers described ammonia synthesis from its elements at atmospheric pressure in a solid state proton(H⫹)-conducting cell reactor.56 Combining dinitrogen 218 Chapter 10 and dihydrogen to synthesize ammonia under mild conditions would be superior to the Haber–Bosch process, but commercial applications of these laboratory tests seem remote.57 The Haber–Bosch process is not going to be displaced any time soon, and increased global dependence on this synthesis is inevitable even with an early stabilization of the world population and a widespread adoption of rational diets. Intensive cultivation cannot be sustained without applications of nitrogen fertilizers.

Archives of Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik (BASF) in Ludwigshafen contain a letter that Fritz Haber, at that time a professor of physical chemistry and electrochemistry at the Technische Hochschule in Karslruhe, sent on July 3, 1909, to the company’s directors. In it he described the events of the previous day, when two BASF chemists came to witness the first successful demonstration of the synthesis in his laboratory. Haber’s invention was translated with an unprecedented rapidity into a commercial synthetic process by Carl Bosch. The Haber–Bosch process was the breakthrough that removed the most ubiquitous limit on crop yields, opening the way for the development and adoption of high-yielding cultivars and for the multiplication of global harvests. Today’s ammonia synthesis has been greatly improved in many details and it operates with much higher energy efficiencies; but Haber and Bosch would easily recognize all principal features of their invention.

The core of the book is a detailed narrative of the epochal discovery of ammonia synthesis by Fritz Haber and its commercialization by Carl Bosch and BASF. Subsequent chapters trace the emergence of the large-scale nitrogen fertilizer industry and its various products and analyze the extent of global, and national, depen- Transforming the World xvii dence on the Haber–Bosch process and its biospheric consequences. I close by looking back—and looking ahead—at the role of nitrogen in civilization. And, in a sad coda to the story, I attach a short postscript describing the lives of Carl Bosch and Fritz Haber after the discovery of ammonia synthesis. By trying to make the book as comprehensive, and as interdisciplinary, as possible, I recognize that I made its reading harder, or less interesting, for many people who are only curious about some parts of the whole.


pages: 398 words: 100,679

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, Dava Sobel, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of movable type, invention of radio, invention of writing, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Kim Stanley Robinson, lone genius, low earth orbit, mass immigration, nuclear winter, off grid, Richard Feynman, technology bubble, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

It is a powerful oxidizing agent, too, and so can be used to make explosives.* So for a post-apocalyptic society maturing into an industrialized civilization, the Haber-Bosch process will liberate you from dependence on collecting animal manure or bird guano, soaking timber ashes, or digging saltpeter mineral deposits for your vital nitrate supply, and instead enable you to mine the virtually limitless reservoir of nitrogen in the atmosphere. Today, the Haber-Bosch process pumps out around a hundred million tons of synthetic ammonia every year, and fertilizer made from it sustains one-third of the world’s population—around 2.3 billion hungry mouths are fed by this chemical reaction.

., vii, 10, 275 Encyclopédie (Diderot), 8, 19 energy and power, 15, 165–85 batteries for, see batteries consumption per person, 166 from fossil fuels, 31, 57–58, 105, 165, 166, 190 generation and distribution of, 178–85 mechanical, 166–74 solar, 13, 47 steam engine for, 170n, 172–73, 182, 197, 201, 277, 290–91 steam turbine for, 182–83, 185, 206–7 thermal, 104–9, 166, 172, 182 water turbine for, 180–82, 181 waterwheel for, 166–68, 167, 170, 171–72, 178–79, 180, 203, 213, 276 windmill for, 46, 169, 170, 171–72, 178–80, 179, 213 see also electricity generators Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI), 106n engines: diesel, 188, 190 gasoline, 187, 188 internal combustion, 201–6, 204, 208 steam, 170n, 172–73, 182, 197, 201 Enlightenment, 276 enzymes, 81–82 equinoxes, 259, 261, 265 ethanol, 43, 89, 91, 120, 158, 159, 189–90, 202, 206, 241 ether, 159, 163, 241 evolution, 279 explosives, 104, 110, 116, 118, 122, 235–38, 242, 247 fabrics, see textiles fats and oils, 112, 188 animal, 191 linseed, 219 saponification of, 84, 112–13, 114–15, 211–12 vegetable, 108–9, 188, 190 feather pen, 214 fermentation, 80, 84, 88, 90–91 ferrous sulfate, 241 fertilizers, 57, 58, 69, 70, 72, 73, 76, 77n, 110, 121, 237, 238, 247–48, 250, 278–79 manure, 61, 69, 70, 73–76, 237, 243, 247, 250 Feynman, Richard, 9–10 fire: starting, 34–35 using, 104–5, 123–24 fires, destructive, 28 firewood, 106, 165, 176 fishing, 198 flash paper, 238 flax, 96, 108, 211 Fleming, Alexander, 12, 162, 164 Florey, Howard, 163 flour, 39, 86, 87 flying shuttle, 101 food, 33, 38–41 canned, 40, 92, 291 cereal preparation, 86–91 cooking, 79–81, 124 growing, see agriculture poisoning from, 79–81, 84 pottery vessels for, 80–81, 95, 124–26 spoilage of, 80, 161, 163 food preservation, 80, 81–85, 91–95, 161 by canning, 92, 291 by drying, 82, 91–92 by fermenting, 80, 84 by pickling, 84, 89, 91–92, 118 by refrigeration, 93–95 by salting, 82–83, 91–92 by smoking, 83, 91–92 fool’s gold, 222 forceps, 149–50, 150 fore-and-aft rigging, 198–99 forests, 27, 30, 106 fossil fuels, 31, 57–58, 105, 165, 166, 190 Foucault’s pendulum, 256n Four Quartets (Eliot), 275 foxglove, 155 Frank, Pat, 165 fuels, 41–42, 119, 124 biofuels, 74–75, 119, 191, 206–7, 208 gasification and, 191–93, 192, 194 kerosene, 108–9 fungicide, 118 Gaia hypothesis, 7 Galápagos Islands, 272n galena, 222, 227 Galileo, 172 gallium, 234–35 galls, 214 iron gall ink, 213–14, 218–19 gangs, 21 gas, 165 biogas, 74–75 natural, 44, 173, 185, 191 gasification, 191–93, 192, 194 gasoline, 41, 120, 173, 188–189, 191, 202, 206 alcohol in, 189–90 gasoline engine, 187, 188 gelatin, 116, 161, 241–42 generators, see electricity generators germ theory, 160, 161n glass, 49, 110, 124, 138–44, 235n, 243, 249 lenses, 142–43, 161 mirrors, 240n production of, 138–40 recycling of, 140 windows, 140, 141 glassblowing, 140–41 global warming, 31–32, 45, 294 glue, 116 glycerol, 115–16, 190, 238 Golding, William, 35n golf courses, 47 Goražde, 48–49, 48 GPS navigation devices, 42 grains, 39 Gregorian calendar, 262 guano, 238, 248, 250 guayule, 194–95 guncotton, 238, 241 gunpowder, 112, 236–37, 276 Gutenberg, Johannes, 215, 217, 218, 219 Haber-Bosch process, 57, 232, 248–51 hand washing, 112, 148 harness, 196 Harrison, John, 272, 273 harrow, 62, 63, 195 health care, see medicine heart rate, 155, 156 heat, 105 in canning, 92 herbicides and pesticides, 57, 77n, 279 Hippocrates, 155 hoe, 60, 61 Homo sapiens, 293 horses, 195–98, 197 hourglass, 254–55 houses, 29 Hurricane Katrina, 20–21 hydrocarbons, 104, 108, 188, 249 hydrochloric acid, 121 hydrogen, 193, 232, 233 chloride, 121, 244n in Haber-Bosch process, 57, 232, 248–51 hydrolysis, 211–12 hypothesis, 288 I Am Legend (Matheson), 24 “I Am Legend” scenario, 24 incubators, 150 indigo, 115 inductor, 224–25 industrial chemistry, 242–51, 253, 278–79 Industrial Revolution, 15, 70, 96, 105, 171, 242–43, 276–78, 290 infectious diseases, 112, 147–48 influenzas, 147 ink, 213, 216, 218–20 India, 219 iron gall, 213–14, 218–19 insects, 29 internal combustion engine, 201–6, 204, 208 International Space Station, 30–31 Internet, 50 inverter, 48 iodine, 114, 158, 241 “I, Pencil” (Read), 4 iron, 130, 135–38, 241, 249, 277 cast, 136, 137, 276 disulfide, 222 gall ink, 213–14, 218–19 pig, 136–37 pyrite, 227 smelting, 135–36, 137 sulfate, 214 wrought, 276 Japan, 13 kerosene, 108–9 knowledge, 210, 277, 278, 279–80, 287 lactobacillus bacteria, 88 Laennec, René, 152 lampblack, 219 lamps: arc, 178 electric, 177–78 fluorescent, 142 light bulbs for, 142, 178, 180, 183, 227, 290 oil, 108–9, 184 language, 210 lard, 113, 115 Las Vegas, Nev., 45 latex, 194 lathe, 132–35, 134, 205, 206 latitude, 267–69, 270 lavender, 155 lead sulfide, 222 Leblanc, Nicolas, 244–45 Leeuwenhoek, Antoni Van, 160n legumes, 70, 71, 73, 248 lenses, 142–43, 161 Leonardo da Vinci, 97, 201, 213 light: electric, 177–78 see also lamps light bulbs, 142, 178, 180, 183, 227, 290 lignin, 211, 212 lime, 109–12, 115, 120, 139, 212 mortars, 126, 127–29 quicklime, 110–12, 139, 140, 233, 245 slaked (limewater), 111, 112, 115, 120, 127, 212, 237 limestone, 110, 111, 237, 245 linen, 96, 211 linseed oil, 219 liquified petroleum gas (LPG), 191 livestock, 69, 71–73, 146–47, 247 location, determining, 253–54, 265–74 compass for, 265–66, 276 latitude in, 267–69, 270 longitude in, 267–68, 270–71 sextant for, 269–70, 269, 273 lodestones, 265 London, 28 longitude, 267–68, 270–71 Lord of the Flies (Golding), 22, 35n Los Angeles, Calif., 45 Lovelock, James, 7–8 lye, 115, 116, 190 Mad Max, 2 “Mad Max” scenario, 24 Magellan, Ferdinand, 199 magnesium, 233 magnetism, 12 electromagnetism, 174, 176–77, 184, 220–25 magnetometer, 288 Maillard reaction, 79 maize (corn), 53–54, 66, 67, 84n, 86 malaria, 155, 160 Manhattan, 256n, 266–67, 268, 270 manure, 61, 69, 70, 73–76, 237, 243, 247, 250 materials, 103, 123–44 clay, 124–25 glass, see glass lime mortars, 126, 127–29 metals, see metals plastics, 49–50, 116, 118, 235n, 279 wood, see wood mathematics, 288 Matheson, Richard, 24 Mayan civilization, 145 McCarthy, Cormac, 2 McVeigh, Timothy, 250n measles, 147 measures and units, 287–88 barometer, 141, 144, 284–86 metric system, 282–84 for temperature, see temperature measurement meat, 67, 69, 73 preserving, 82 mechanization, loss of, 195–201, 197 medicine, 6, 144, 145–64 childbirth and neonatal care, 149–50 clinical trials in, 157 examination and diagnosis, 150–54 infectious diseases, 112, 147–48 microbiology, 160–64 surgery, 151, 155, 158–59 medicines, 6, 42–44, 154–57, 279 antibiotics, see antibiotics expiration dates on, 43–44 for pain relief, 155–57, 158–59 medieval Europe, 170–71, 275–76 Mendeleev, Dmitri, 234–35 menthol, 155–56 mercury, 286 Mesopotamia, 138 metals, 49, 104, 110, 130–38 alloys, 130, 195, 235n aluminum, 115n, 132, 133, 174n, 232–33 iron, see iron smelting, 135–36, 137, 140, 249 steel, 29, 49, 124, 130–32, 136–38, 277 welding, 131–32 metalworking, 132–35, 133, 134, 195, 200 methane, 74, 191, 193, 249 methanol, 118–19, 190 metric system, 282–84 microbiology, 160–64 microorganisms, 80, 81, 279, 291 microphone, 225–26 microscope, 141, 143–44, 160–61, 288 milk, 39, 84, 85, 92 Millennium Seed Bank, 54 Miller, Walter M., Jr., 123 millet, 66, 67, 86 mill pond, 168 millstone, 86, 95 mirror, 240n Moldova, 3n morphine, 156 Morse code, 221 mortars, lime, 126, 127–29 motor, car, 173 Napoleon I, Emperor, 282n Napoleon III, Emperor, 233n nature, 279, 287 urban spaces reclaimed by, 26–30, 27, 106 navigation, see location, determining New Orleans, La., 20–21 New York City, 256n, 266–67, 268, 270 nitrates, 237, 238, 243, 247, 248 nitric acid, 121–22, 159, 238, 247, 250 nitrocellulose, 238 nitrogen, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75, 88, 115, 178, 238, 247–51 in Haber-Bosch process, 57, 232, 248–51 nitroglycerin, 238 nitrous oxide, 159, 250 Nobel, Alfred, 238 north pole, 263–65, 264 North Star (Polaris), 263, 269 nuclear war, 22 oats, 60, 66, 67 Off-Gridders, 48 oil, crude, 116, 119–20, 189, 279 oil lamps, 108–9, 184 oil paints, 219 oils, see fats and oils Oklahoma City bombing, 250n opium, 156 oral rehydration therapy (ORT), 148 Oryx and Crake (Atwood), 103 oscillator, 257–58, 271 oscillator circuit, 224–25 oxen, 195, 196 oxidizing agents (oxidants), 104, 236, 238 oxygen, 232, 233, 279 explosives and, 236 “Ozymandias” (Shelley), 209 pain relief, 155–57, 158–59 paints, 118 oil, 219 pandemic, 23 Pantheon, 29 paper, 210–13, 215, 218, 232, 238, 243, 276 pasteurization, 92 pathology, 154 pellagra, 84n Pelton turbine, 181, 181, 182 pen, 214 pendulum, 283 clock, 257–59, 271, 289–90 Foucault’s, 256n penicillin, 12, 162, 163–64 periodic table, 234–35, 242 pesticides and herbicides, 57, 77n, 279 Petri dishes, 161, 162 pharmaceutical compounds, see medicines phones, 3–4, 13, 50–51 phosphorus, 57, 75–76, 110 photography, 104, 114, 122, 235, 238, 239–42 observing stars and, 263, 265 pickling, 84, 89, 91–92, 118 piezoelectric crystal, 226 piston, 173 pitch, 119 plastic bottles, for solar water disinfection, 37–38 plastics, 49–50, 116, 118, 235n, 279 plate tectonics, 279 plow, 58, 60–61, 62, 63, 195 Polaris, 263, 269 polyethylene terephthalate (PET), 50 poppy, 156 population, 24–25 potash, 17, 76, 114, 115, 120, 139, 212, 233, 234, 237, 243–44, 249 potassium, 57, 75, 76, 114, 233, 234 bitartrate, 226 carbonate, 114 hydroxide, 115, 190, 249 nitrate (saltpeter), 237–38, 248, 250 sodium tartrate, 226 potatoes, 60, 65, 67 potter’s wheel, 125, 203, 206 pottery vessels, 80–81, 95, 124–26 POW radios in World War II, 226-27 power, see energy and power Preppers, 21, 33, 48 pressure gauge, 284–85 printing, 214–20, 276 printing press, 12–13, 215–19 prisons, 21–22 propane, 191 pyrites, 121 pyrolysis, 116–20, 117, 192 quicklime (calcium oxide), 110–12, 139, 140, 233, 245 quinine, 155 rack and pinion mechanism, 205 radio, 51, 221–29 amplitude modulation in, 223 earphones or speakers for, 225–26, 227 location determination and, 273 microphone for, 225–26 oscillating circuit in, 224–25 receiver for, 222, 225, 228 transmitter for, 222–23, 225 radioactivity, 279 railways, 188 rapeseed, 60, 109, 171, 190 razor blade rectifier, 227, 228 Read, Leonard E., 4 reaper, 69 rectifier, 227, 230n razor blade, 227, 228 recycling, 49–50 refrigerators, 93–95 Renaissance, 11, 275, 276 rennin, 85 repopulation, 24–25 resin, 219–20 resonance, 224 rhinovirus, 147 rice, 65–66, 66, 67 Road, The (McCarthy), 2 roads, 187–88 Robinson Crusoe (Defoe), 33 Rochelle salt, 226 Roman Empire, 11 Röntgen, Wilhelm, 153 rubber, 193–95 “Ruin, The,” 79 rye, 60, 66, 67, 86 sailing ships, 198–200 salicylic acid, 157 Salon of 1767 (Diderot), 253 salt (sodium chloride), 82, 113, 121, 232, 240, 244, 245, 247 in food preservation, 82–83, 91–92 in oral rehydration therapy, 148 producing, 83 saltpeter, 237–38, 248, 250 saltwort, 244 sand, 138–39, 140, 144 saponification, 84, 112–13, 114–15, 211–12 satellites, 42, 239n sawmill, 171, 206 scales, balance, 283, 284 science, 275–91 experimentation in, 287–89 measures and units in, see measures and units as process, 289 roots of, 280–81 socioeconomic environment and, 277–78 technology and, 289–91 tools of, 281–86, 287 scientific method, 278–81, 286–89 scientific revolution, 259, 276 screw press, 218 scurvy, 157n scythe, 61, 67, 68 sea level, 31, 45 seaweed, 114 seed drill, 62, 64, 195 seismometer, 287 sewage systems, 57 sewage treatment, 75 sextant, 269–70, 269, 273 Shampoo Planet (Coupland), 231 Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 209 shelter, 33, 34–35 ships, 198–200 shipwrecks, 30 Shirky, Clay, 9 sickle, 61, 67, 68 silica, 138, 139–40 silver chloride, 240 silver nitrate, 240 Sirius, 261 smallpox, 147 smelting, 135–36, 137, 140, 249 soap, 112–16, 190, 243 saponification in, 84, 112–13, 114–15, 211–12 social contract, 20–22 soda, 243–47, 246 ash (sodium carbonate), 114, 118, 120, 139, 140, 212, 226, 243, 244, 245 caustic (sodium hydroxide), 115, 190, 212, 232, 233, 234, 243, 244, 244n sodium, 233, 234 acetate, 118 bicarbonate, 245 carbonate (soda ash), 114, 118, 120, 139, 140, 212, 226, 243, 244, 245 chloride, see salt hydroxide (caustic soda), 115, 190, 212, 232, 233, 234, 243, 244, 244n hypochlorite, 212 thiosulfate, 240 soil, 57, 58–64, 70–72, 76, 110 solar power, 13, 47 solar water disinfection (SODIS), 37–38 solstices, 255–56, 261 Solvay process, 245–47, 246 solvents, 119 soot, 219 sorghum, 66, 67 south pole, 264 Soviet Union, 3n, 198n speakers, 225–26 spectrometer, 287 spinning, 96–97, 277 spinning wheel, 97, 97 Staphylococcus, 162 stars, 239n, 261, 262, 263–65, 269, 270 Barnard’s, 262–63, 263 constellations of, 261 latitude and, 268 North (Polaris), 263, 269 steam engine, 170n, 172–73, 182, 197, 201, 277, 290–91 steampunk, 15 steam turbine, 182–83, 185, 206–7 steel, 29, 49, 124, 130–32, 136–38, 277 steering wheel, 205 Stephens, John Lloyd, 145 stereotype, 218n stethoscope, 152 Stonehenge, 256 strontium, 233 substances, 102, 103–22 acids, 82, 84, 92, 104, 113, 116, 120–22 alkalis, 82, 84, 104, 113, 114, 116, 120, 212, 234, 243 lime, see lime soap, see soap for thermal energy, 104–9 wood pyrolysis, 116–20, 117, 192 sugar(s), 82, 89, 90, 190, 240n in oral rehydration therapy, 148 sulfur dioxide, 240 sulfuric acid, 120–22, 159, 214, 238, 241 sulfuryl chloride, 121 Sun, 269, 270 coronal mass ejection from, 22, 24 equinoxes and, 259 proving Earth’s orbit around, 260n solstices and, 255–56 sundial, 256–57, 259–60, 270–71 superglue, 42–43 surgery, 151, 155, 158–59 Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 55, 55 tallow, 191 tea tree oil, 155 technology, 289–91 telegraph, 220–21 telescope, 140, 143, 161 temperature measurement, 285–86 thermometer for, 141, 144, 152, 285–86, 287, 288 Texas City, 250n textiles, 212–13, 232, 276, 277 for clothing, 98–101 linen, 96, 211 spinning yarn for, 96–97, 277 spinning wheel for, 97, 97 weaving, 98, 277 weaving loom for, 98–100, 99, 101–2 thermal energy, 104–9, 166, 172, 182 thermionic emission, 228–29 thermometer, 141, 144, 152, 285–86, 287, 288 Three Gorges dam, 180 threshing, 68 threshing flail, 61 Thwaites, Thomas, 4 time telling, 253–60, 266 calendar for, 253, 260–65 clocks for, see clocks hourglass for, 254–55 sundial for, 256–57, 259–60, 270–71 toaster, 4 tooth fillings, 174n tractor, 63, 197–98 trade, 198 train lines, 188 transformer, 183–84 transmission, car, 204 transport, 185, 187–208 electric vehicles for, 206–7 fuels for, 188–93 gasification and, 191–93, 192, 194 keeping vehicles running, 188–95 and loss of mechanization, 195–201, 197 powered, reinventing, 201–8 roads for, 187–88 rubber for, 193–95 trees, 17 triode, 229 trip hammer, 171, 171, 179, 203, 276 tuberculosis, 147 turpentine, 119, 219–20 type setting, 216–18, 217 urea, 115 urine, 73, 74, 115 vacuum, 284 vacuum tubes, 141–42, 153, 227–30 Varro, Marcus Terentius, 161n vinegar, 84, 118, 120 violence and crime, 20–22 vitamin B3, 84n vitamin D, 72, 84–85 vitriol, 120 voltaic pile, 175, 178 walkie-talkies, 51 Washington, DC, 45 waste, human, 73–75 Waste Land, The (Eliot), vii, 10 water, 81, 103 for apartment buildings, 44–45 destruction caused by, 28–30 water, drinking, 33, 36–38, 109–10, 124, 148 oral rehydration therapy, 148 water clock, 205, 206, 254 water turbine, 180–82, 181 steam, 182–83, 185 waterwheel, 166–68, 167, 170, 171–72, 178–79, 180, 203, 213, 276 Watt, James, 170n weaving, 98, 277 weaving loom, 98–100, 99, 101–2 welding, 131–32 wet collodion process, 241 wheat, 53–54, 55, 60, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 73, 86, 89 wheelbarrow, 12, 276 Wikipedia, 9 willow, 155, 157 wind, 168–70 windmill, 46, 169, 170, 171–72, 178–80, 179, 213 windows, 140, 141 winnowing, 68 Wiseman, John “Lofty,” 33 wood, 17, 123–24 ashes, 17, 76, 113–14, 115 charcoal from, 106–7, 116, 124, 135, 184 firewood, 106, 165, 176 gasification of, 191–93 paper from, 211–13 pyrolysis of, 116–20, 117, 192 smoking food with, 83, 91–92 wood alcohol (methanol), 118–19, 190 wool, 96–98 World Health Organization, 37 World War II, POW radios in, 226–27 writing, 210–14, 215 Wyndham, John, 53 X-rays, 12, 141, 153, 221, 239 yeast, 89–91 yogurt, 84, 85, 88 Zeer pot, 93 CREDITS Text 1: Excerpt from Rameau’s Nephew and Other Works by Denis Diderot, translated by Jacques Barzun and Ralph H.

But the only way that farms today can function, growing dense monocultures on the same land and still producing high yields year after year, is by spraying potent herbicides and pesticides to maintain an iron-fist control over the ecosystem, and by the liberal application of chemical fertilizers. The nitrogen-rich compounds provided in these artificial fertilizers are created industrially by the Haber-Bosch process, which we’ll return to in Chapter 11. All of these herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers are synthesized using fossil fuels, which also power the farmyard machinery. In a sense, then, modern farming is a process that transforms oil into food—with some input from sunshine—and consumes around ten calories of fossil fuel energy for every calorie of food actually eaten.


pages: 469 words: 142,230

The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World by Oliver Morton

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Elon Musk, energy transition, Ernest Rutherford, Garrett Hardin, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kim Stanley Robinson, late capitalism, Louis Pasteur, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, renewable energy transition, Scramble for Africa, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus

In 1910, 13 per cent of the Chilean nitrates imported into the United States were used as fertilizer; almost twice that amount was used in the chemical industry, three times as much or more in the manufacture of explosives. When the Royal Navy cut off Germany’s supplies of Chilean nitrate in the First World War the Haber–Bosch process allowed Germany to continue furnishing itself with gunpowder and other ammunition, very likely prolonging hostilities. After Germany lost, the victors gathered in Versailles insisted on compulsory licences to the Haber–Bosch process as part of their spoils. Some of the nitrogen was indeed used for agriculture. By the time Carl Bosch received his Nobel Prize* in 1931 he was the head of IG Farben, the vast company into which BASF and Germany’s other big chemical companies had been rolled up.

According to one estimate, armaments made possible by the Haber–Bosch process have accounted for 150 million deaths over the course of the twentieth century. The unprecedented slaughter of the Second World War would have been unthinkable without it. According to a later chemist and Nobel laureate, Linus Pauling, over the course of that war a quantity of explosives equivalent to six million tonnes of TNT was used. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs represented less than half of one per cent of that total. Everything else came almost entirely from the Haber–Bosch process. The allies used thousands of tonnes of high explosive in their raids on the Leuna plant alone.

The problems are not all due to the Haber–Bosch process. Other changes in agronomy have boosted the amount of nitrogen fixed by some of the crops themselves. And when you burn fossil fuels, especially at high temperature, some of the nitrogen in the air burns, too, thus creating the oxides of nitrogen collectively known as NOx. As fossil-fuel burning rose over the twentieth century so did the amount of nitrogen fixed this way. Today the amount of nitrogen fixed by combustion in this way is equivalent to about a quarter of the amount fixed by the Haber–Bosch process. What the interventions all have in common is that they strengthen the fixing side of the cycle.


pages: 369 words: 98,776

The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas

Airbus A320, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Haber-Bosch Process, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, megacity, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, planetary scale, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, Stewart Brand, Tragedy of the Commons, two and twenty, undersea cable, University of East Anglia

ENTER FRITZ HABER Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch can claim as dramatic an influence on twentieth-century world history as the likes of Stalin, Churchill, and Gandhi, yet their names are barely remembered and their defining achievement little celebrated by today’s generations—even though we benefit from their inventiveness every time we eat a meal. The chemical technique that bears their names, the Haber-Bosch process, was undoubtedly “the most important technical invention of the twentieth century,” according to the Canadian scholar Vaclav Smil, whose book Enriching the Earth is the definitive biography of nitrogen in the modern world. As Smil relates, the “single most important change affecting the world’s population—its expansion from 1.6 billion people in 1900 to today’s 6 billion—would not have been possible without the synthesis of ammonia” for conversion into artificial fertilizers.5 Haber was not the first chemist by any means to take up Crookes’s challenge.

It was Bosch himself who suggested, following a French air raid on his west German plant, building a new, much larger-scale industrial operation deeper inside Germany. The War Ministry put up 12 million marks, and the new plant at Leuna began operation on April 27, 1917, producing more than 100,000 tonnes of nitrates annually.8 Thanks to the Haber-Bosch process, the carnage of the First World War was to continue for another year and a half before the German capitulation finally came. But Fritz Haber’s personal responsibility for the atrocities of the First World War was unfortunately much greater than just his indirect contribution to securing German explosives supplies.

China, faced with a growing population and no free land, built thirteen ammonia plants in the 1970s, and by 1989 had become the largest nitrogen producer in the world. The United States remains heavily dependent on agricultural fertilizers—so much so that major crop-growing regions are actually served by ammonia pipelines. Today, more than half the nitrogen produced by the world’s crops originates in ammonia production plants using the Haber-Bosch process. Given that most of this ends up as our food, it is fair to say that most of the protein in the modern human being’s body is of synthetic origin.10 Even while the production of artificial fertilizers has clearly been good for humanity, it has also begun to cause serious environmental problems.


pages: 282 words: 82,107

An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, carbon footprint, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce

When scientists in Britain and other countries had tried to replicate the Haber-Bosch process themselves during the war, they had been unable to do so because crucial technical details had been omitted from the relevant patents. These patents were confiscated after the war, and BASF’s plants were scrutinized by foreign engineers, leading to the construction of similar plants in Britain, France, and the United States. During the 1920s the process was refined so that it could use methane from natural gas, rather than coal, as the source of hydrogen. By the early 1930s the Haber-Bosch process had overtaken Chilean nitrates to become the dominant source of artificial fertilizer, and global consumption of fertilizer tripled between 1910 and 1938.

Meanwhile ever-larger converters, now capable of producing three to five metric tons a day, were entering service at BASF’s new site at Oppau. These combined Haber’s original methods with Bosch’s engineering innovations to produce ammonia—from nitrogen in the air, and hydrogen extracted from coal—using what is now known as the Haber-Bosch process. By 1914 the Oppau plant was capable of producing nearly 20 metric tons of ammonia a day, or 7,200 metric tons a year, which could then be processed into 36,000 metric tons of ammonium sulphate fertilizer. But the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 meant that much of the ammonia produced by the plant was soon being used to make explosives, rather than fertilizer.

Carl Bosch. The war highlighted the way in which chemicals could be used both to sustain life or to destroy it. Germany faced a choice between using its new source of synthetic ammonia to feed its people or supply its army with ammunition. Some historians have suggested that without the Haber-Bosch process, Germany would have run out of nitrates by 1916, and the war would have ended much sooner. German production of ammonia was scaled up dramatically after 1914, but with much of the supply being used to make munitions, maintaining food production proved to be impossible. There were widespread food shortages, contributing to the collapse in morale that preceded Germany’s defeat in 1918.


pages: 321 words: 85,893

The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith

British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Drosophila, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, longitudinal study, McMansion, meta-analysis, out of africa, peak oil, placebo effect, Rosa Parks, the built environment

The first large purchase Beijing made after Nixon’s historic visit was of gigantic factories to produce nitrogen fertilizer.25 Those massive fertilizer factories depend on two things: fossil fuel and a man named Fritz Haber. The Haber-Bosch process uses tremendous heat and pressure to force nitrogen and hydrogen together. This creates a usable form of nitrogen. Large quantities of electricity are necessary to produce the heat and pressure, and large quantities of coal, oil, or gas are necessary to produce the hydrogen. It relies on fossil fuel from beginning to end. Understand the profound impact the Haber-Bosch process has had on the planet: two out of five people are only alive because of it.26 And, instead of running on the sun, modern agriculture runs on fossil fuel.

But these options—sustainable, local, enmeshed in the processes of life—aren’t even visible, let alone viable, to the political vegetarians, who want to save the world without ever knowing it. Why do we feed corn to cows? The corn will sicken them and, in turn, the humans who eat them.38 So why do it? To answer that we need to understand farm policy in the United States. Farm policy is even more abstruse than the Haber-Bosch process, but we need to pursue it if we’re going to make sense of why grass-eating ruminants are being stuffed with grain. Between Fritz Haber and plant geneticists, the twentieth century saw corn yields increase from twenty-five bushels an acre to upward of one hundred and forty bushels an acre.39 The United States alone produces ten billion bushels a year, and no matter how much liquid corn we swallow down in our Big Gulps, we’d never consume it all.

A conspicuous and unprecedentedly large acceleration of human population increase got under way as Homo sapiens began to supersede agrarian living with industrial living.74 Coal-fueled machinery allowed irrigation, enhanced agricultural production, and transported foodstuffs. Coal gave way to oil and gas, and the horse’s day was done.75 The one-quarter to one-third of agricultural land that had been dedicated to draft animals could now grow humans. And finally the Haber-Bosch process exploded onto the world. The massive population shift from food-producers in rural areas to food-consuming, industrial-producers in urban areas has resulted in a profound level of ignorance of where our food comes from, what its necessary inputs are, and what toll it’s taking on the landbase.


pages: 353 words: 91,211

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, British Empire, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, creative destruction, deglobalization, dematerialisation, desegregation, deskilling, endogenous growth, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, interchangeable parts, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

Our accounts of significance have been peculiarly innovation-centric, and tied to particular accounts of modernity where particular new technologies were held to be central. In the new picture, twentieth-century technology is not just a matter of electricity, mass production, aerospace, nuclear power, the internet and the contraceptive pill. It will involve the rickshaw, the condom, the horse, the sewing machine, the spinning wheel, the Haber-Bosch process, the hydrogenation of coal, cemented-carbide tools, bicycles, corrugated iron, cement, asbestos, DDT, the chain saw and the refrigerator. The horse made a greater contribution to Nazi conquest than the V2. A central feature of use-based history, and a new history of invention, is that alternatives exist for nearly all technologies: there are multiple military technologies, means of generating electricity, powering a motor car, storing and manipulating information, cutting metal or roofing a building.

In the rich world agriculture in the long boom saw much greater rates of labour productivity change than industry or services, and at much greater rates than before.39 In high land-productivity Britain, yields doubled in the post-war years from a very high base. New regimes of intensive agriculture through irrigation, and addition of artificial fertiliser (especially nitrate, largely produced by the Haber-Bosch process, innovated before the Great War) made plants grow fast and large. Plants were changed too. The introduction of hybrid corn (maize) in the US corn belt in the late 1930s and 1940s was just one example, though an important one, of new varieties being grown.40 While traditional rice-production systems in Asia yielded around 1 tonne per hectare, at the beginning of the twentieth century Japanese farmers were getting 2.5 tonnes; Japanese farmers had doubled yields through irrigation in the nineteenth century; and in its colonies of Korea and Taiwan in the interwar years.

For all the talk of ivory towers, academic science, engineering and medicine have been closely connected to industry, as well as the state, since at least the late nineteenth century. The great German organic chemistry centres in the universities had close links with German industry before and after the Great War. Fritz Haber, of the Haber-Bosch process, was an academic. Academic experts on coal and in chemistry were involved in coal hydrogenation. The University of Goettingen was an important centre of aeronautical research before the Great War. Penicillin was spun-off from St Mary’s Medical School and the University of Oxford in the 1940s.


pages: 304 words: 90,084

Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fixed income, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, market design, means of production, North Sea oil, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, remote working, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

While the natural sequestration process of plants and soils should be soaking up carbon, agriculture (including forestry and other land use) contributes around 25 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.[27] Modern agriculture is a carbon disaster from start to finish, from the ploughing of the land releasing carbon stored in the soils, through to the final produce on the supermarket shelf, often wrapped in plastic. Ever since the discovery of the Haber-Bosch process to produce ammonia, fertilisers have been energy-intensive, and that energy has come overwhelmingly from fossil fuels. (China accounts for around 30 per cent of the world’s total fertiliser use, with an application rate among the highest in the world.) The statistics on what has happened to agriculture since 1990 and its contribution to the increase in emissions are less well documented than those of the fossil fuel industries.

The atmosphere is a delicate balance of emissions and sequestration, and it therefore depends on what happens in the soils and vegetation, as well of course as in the oceans. Modern agriculture (and aquaculture) does a lot of emitting. In the quest for ever more productivity from the land, the Haber-Bosch process for producing artificial fertilisers stands out as one of the greatest advances. By manufacturing fertiliser, the old dependency on animal manure and guano (essentially bird droppings) was broken, and with it the mixed-farming model. Add in pesticides and herbicides, and the conditions were set for intensive monocultures.

acid rain 25, 194 Africa xiv, xv, 2, 25, 30, 38, 44, 45, 47, 48, 51, 137, 229 agriculture 2, 6, 12, 13, 14, 23, 35–6, 43, 44–5, 70, 76, 86, 87–8, 95, 100, 102, 109, 116, 146–7, 149, 159, 163–80, 181, 183, 192, 197, 198, 206, 220 baseline, the 164–8 biodiversity loss and 2, 5, 100, 164, 165, 168, 169, 171, 172, 174, 180 biofuels and 197–8 carbon emissions and 2, 12, 13, 35–6, 76–7, 146–7, 163–80 carbon price and 167–70, 171, 172, 173, 180 China and 28–9, 35, 45, 180 economics of 76, 165, 166–7, 171, 174 electricity and 13, 166, 168, 174, 178, 180 fertiliser use see fertiliser lobby 14, 110, 164, 165, 169, 170, 197 methane emissions 23, 84, 177, 178, 179 net gain and 172–4 net value of UK 76, 166 new technologies/indoor farming 87–8, 174–9, 180, 213 peat bogs and 2, 179 pesticide use see pesticides petrochemicals and 166 polluter-pays principle and 76, 168–70, 172, 173 pollution 36, 86, 163, 165–6, 168–70, 172, 173, 177–8, 230 public goods, agricultural 170–4, 180 sequestering carbon and 12, 95, 163, 166, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173–4, 177, 179, 180 soils and 2, 146, 163, 164, 165, 166, 168, 169, 171, 172, 175, 179 subsidies 14, 76, 102, 109, 116, 164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 170, 172, 180, 228 25 Year Plan and 179–80 Agriculture Bill (2018), UK 170 air conditioning 135–6, 224, 233 air quality xiii, 13, 25, 46, 52, 61, 70, 135, 153, 177, 180, 201, 216, 230, 232 air transport 3–4, 6, 11, 13, 22, 50, 53, 73, 87, 88, 92, 107, 125, 128, 129, 132, 133, 134, 149, 156–7, 186, 195, 201, 203–5 aluminium 7, 117 Amazon rainforest 2, 34, 35, 95, 145, 149–50, 151, 155, 229, 230 ammonia 35, 137, 191 anaerobic digesters 35, 165, 230 animal welfare 167, 177 antibiotics 93, 165, 174 Arctic 26, 46, 114, 178 artificial intelligence (AI) 32, 175, 220, 231 autonomous vehicles 13, 129, 132, 175, 189–90, 231 Balkans 137–8 Bank of England 121 batteries 6, 31, 131, 135, 141, 183, 184, 185–90, 191, 199, 204, 213, 214, 219, 220, 221, 225, 231 beef 5, 95, 116, 117, 167, 230 Berlin, Isaiah 104 big 5 polluter products 117–18, 120 bin Salman, Mohammad 27 biocrops 36 biodiversity xiv, 2, 5, 12, 13, 28, 35, 51, 76, 94, 100, 148, 149, 152, 153, 158, 159, 164, 165, 168, 169–70, 171, 172, 174, 180, 227, 233 bioenergy 31, 34–5, 36 biofuels 21, 35, 49, 50, 67, 70, 95, 135, 183, 184, 197–8, 210, 230 biomass 32, 34, 49, 50, 67, 69, 109, 146, 147, 151, 210, 217 bonds, government 220 BP 27, 149, 187, 199 Deepwater Horizon disaster, Gulf of Mexico (2010) 147 Brazil 2, 35, 38, 44–5, 47, 95, 145, 149–50, 155, 198 Brexit 42, 47, 56, 117, 165 British Gas 102, 139 British Steel x, 194 broadband networks 6, 11, 90, 92, 125, 126, 127–8, 130–1, 132–3, 135, 140–1, 199, 201, 202, 205, 211, 214, 231, 232 Brundtland Commission 45 BT 127–8, 141 Openreach 214 Burn Out (Helm) ix, xiv Bush, George W. 36, 48, 53, 103 business rates 76, 165 Canada 52, 191, 193 capitalist model 26, 42, 99, 227 carbon border tax/carbon border adjustment xii, 11, 13, 60, 80, 115–20, 194–6, 204 carbon capture and storage (CCS) xiv, 12, 75–6, 95, 109, 146, 147–8, 149, 154, 159, 203–4, 207, 209, 222, 223 Carbon Crunch, The (Helm) ix, xiv, 221 carbon diary 4–5, 8, 10, 11, 64–6, 83, 86, 116, 143, 144, 155, 156, 167, 180, 181, 185, 203, 205 carbon emissions: agriculture and see agriculture by country (2015) 30 during ice ages and warm periods for the past 800,000 years 21 economy and 81–159 electricity and see electricity global annual mean concentration of CO2 (ppm) 19 global average long-term concentration of CO2 (ppm) 20 measuring 43–6 since 1990 1–14, 17–37 transport and see individual method of transport 2020, position in 36–7 UN treaties and 38–57 unilateralism and 58–80 see also unilateralism carbon offsetting xiii–xiv, 4, 5, 12, 34, 45, 72, 74, 79, 94–6, 97, 105, 143–59, 192, 201, 203, 207, 214, 222, 223, 234 for companies 148–50 for countries 151–5 for individuals 155–7 markets 71–2, 110–13, 117, 144, 157–9, 208 travel and 156, 201–3 see also sequestration carbon permits 71–2, 79, 110–13, 117, 144, 208 carbon price/tax xii, xiii, xv, 8, 11, 12, 13, 26, 60, 61, 71, 72, 77, 79, 80, 84, 85–6, 102–3, 105, 106–24, 134, 143, 146, 147, 150, 151–4, 157, 159, 192, 197, 198, 199, 203, 227–30, 232, 234 agriculture and 167, 168, 169–70, 171, 173, 180 domain of the tax/carbon border adjustment xii, 11, 13, 60, 80, 115–20, 121, 124, 192, 194–6, 197, 204, 227 electric pollution and 216–18 ethics of 107–10 floor price 115, 117, 208 for imports 11, 13 prices or quantities/EU ETS versus carbon taxes 110–13 setting 113–15 transport and 192–9 what to do with the money 121–4 where to levy the tax 119–20 who fixes the price 120–1 carbon sinks 2, 5, 166, 169, 203 carboniferous age 34 cars 1, 3, 4, 7, 20, 22, 36, 44, 70, 73, 114, 129, 181, 182, 183, 184–5, 190, 191, 193, 196, 197, 198, 199 see also electric vehicles cartels 39, 40, 43, 45, 46, 47, 56 cattle farming 35, 36, 95, 150, 166, 167, 173, 177, 198 Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) 102, 139, 218 cement 6, 7, 26, 29, 34, 87, 117, 171 charging networks, electric vehicle 91, 129–30, 141–2, 184, 185–90, 199, 200, 202, 219 Chernobyl 78 China xi, xv, 1–2, 5, 8, 18, 42, 46, 47, 48, 64, 66, 74, 101, 180, 229 Belt and Road Initiative 28, 45 coal use 1–2, 8, 23–4, 24, 28, 31, 38, 117, 154, 206, 208 Communist Party 2, 27, 42, 46 demand for fossil fuels/carbon emissions 1–2, 8, 18, 20, 22, 23–4, 24, 25, 27–31, 36, 38, 51, 73, 117, 154, 206, 208 export market x–xi, 5, 9, 64, 66, 117, 155, 194 fertiliser use 35 GDP xv, 27, 29 nationalism and 42 petrochemical demand 22 renewables companies 9, 32, 73, 74, 77, 79 Tiananmen Square 42 unilateralism and 58, 59 UN treaties and 46, 47, 48, 53, 54, 55, 58, 59 US trade war 56, 118 Churchill, Winston 183 citizen assemblies 99–101 climate change: carbon emissions and see carbon emissions 1.5° target 38, 57 2° target 1, 10, 22–3, 28, 30, 38, 39, 45, 47, 54, 55, 57, 108, 122, 155, 206 see also individual area of climate change Climate Change Act (2008) 66, 74–7 Clinton, Bill 40, 48 Club of Rome 98 coal 1–2, 5, 8, 13, 20, 23–5, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36, 38, 50, 52, 53, 60–1, 67, 72, 77, 78–9, 101, 109, 112, 116, 117, 119, 134, 136, 145, 147, 148, 151, 154, 155, 182, 183, 194, 196, 206–9, 210, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 229, 230 coastal marshes 146, 159 colonialism 45 Committee on Climate Change (CCC), UK x–xi, 7, 74–5, 120, 164, 166, 169, 217, 235 ‘Net Zero: The UK’s Contribution to Stopping Global Warming’ report x–xi conference/video calls 6, 129, 156, 202, 205 Conference of the Parties (COP) xii, 10, 48, 50, 53–4, 55, 59, 205 congestion charges 198 Copenhagen Accord 48, 53–4, 59 Coronavirus see Covid-19 cost-benefit analysis (CBA) 71, 108, 110, 114, 138 cost of living 116 Covid-19 x, xi–xii, 1, 3, 6, 9, 18, 19, 22, 25, 27, 30, 37, 44, 46, 50, 57, 65, 69, 80, 89, 93, 129, 135, 148, 171, 201, 202, 204, 232 CRISPR 176 crop yields 172, 177 dams 2, 36, 52–3, 179 DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) 100 deforestation 2, 5, 34, 35, 36, 38, 43, 44, 47, 55, 87, 95, 145, 146, 149–50, 155, 172–3, 179, 197–8, 229 Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 170 deindustrialisation x, 29, 46, 52, 54, 59, 72–4, 218 Deng Xiaoping 27 Denmark 69–70, 136–7 desalination 135–6, 179 diesel 4, 20–1, 70, 76, 86, 109, 119, 121, 129, 132, 164, 165, 166, 174, 175, 178, 179, 181, 182, 185, 186, 191, 192, 196–7, 208, 217, 230 ‘dieselgate’ scandal 196–7 digitalisation 1, 8, 11, 13, 33, 92, 117, 136, 174, 175, 180, 206, 211, 215, 221, 228–9, 231 DONG 69 Drax 147, 151, 154, 218 economy, net zero 10–12, 81–159 delivering a 96–103 intergenerational equity and 96–7 markets and 103–5 net environmental gain see net environmental gain political ideologies and 98–101 polluter-pays principle see polluter-pays principle public goods, provision of see public goods, provision of technological change and 98 EDF 139, 218 Ehrlich, Paul 98 electricity 1–2, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 23, 31, 32, 49, 53, 61, 65, 66, 68, 70, 73, 77, 78, 79, 91, 92, 101, 102, 109, 117, 125, 127, 128, 129–30, 131–2, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139, 140, 141, 149, 158, 166, 168, 174, 178, 180, 182, 183, 228, 229, 231, 232, 234, 235 coal, getting out of 206–7 electric pollution and the carbon price 216–18 electric vehicles 4, 6, 13, 20, 23, 49, 61, 91, 92, 94, 121, 125, 128, 129–30, 131–2, 134, 141, 183–92, 193, 194, 197, 200, 201, 202, 206, 219, 228 equivalent firm power auctions and system operators 210–16 future of 206–25 gas, how to get out of 207–9 infrastructure, electric 185–90, 218–20 low-carbon options post-coal and gas 209–10 net gain and our consumption 222–5 R&D and next-generation renewables 220–2 renewable see renewables Energy Market Reform (EMR) 219 equivalent firm power (EFP) 212–16, 217, 220 ethanol 35, 71, 95, 197 eucalyptus trees xiv, 152 European Commission 60, 71, 72, 112 European Union (EU) xiv, 2, 7, 8, 9, 37, 42, 44, 46, 47, 117, 137, 165, 166, 197; baseline of 1990 and 51–2 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 76, 165 competition regime and customs union 56 deindustrialisation and 46, 52, 54, 59, 72–4 directives for 2030 66 Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) 71–2, 73, 79, 110–13, 117, 144, 208 importing carbon emissions 59 Internal Energy Market (IEM) 68, 71 Kyoto and 9, 51, 59, 66–7 Mercosur Agreement 44, 95 net zero target for 2050 66, 115, 143, 155, 167, 180 Paris and 54 Renewable Energy Directive 68–71, 73, 109 2020 targets signed into law 66 2020–20–20 targets 67, 69, 74 unilateralism and 59, 66–71, 80 Eurostar 133 externalities 104, 170, 180, 196 Extinction Rebellion 6 farmers 14, 26, 35, 36, 43, 71, 76, 86, 95, 102, 109, 110, 146–7, 164, 165, 166, 169, 170, 174, 175, 196, 197, 198 fertiliser 4, 6, 7, 26, 29, 35, 61, 73, 86, 87, 116, 117, 119, 163, 165, 169, 174, 175, 178, 179, 191, 194, 197 fibre/broadband networks 6, 11, 90, 92, 125, 126, 127–8, 130–1, 132–3, 135, 140–1, 201, 202, 205, 211, 214, 231, 232 financial crisis (2007/8) 1, 19, 69 first-mover advantage 75 First Utility 199 flooding 13, 77, 149, 152, 153, 159, 170, 233 food miles 167 food security 170–1 food waste 178, 180, 231 Forestry Commission xiv Formula One 186, 196 fossil fuels, golden age of 20–5 see also individual fossil fuel France 46, 47, 52, 56, 73, 78, 101, 113, 130, 136, 138 free-rider problem 39–40, 43, 62–4, 106, 119 fuel duty 121, 195–6 fuel efficiency 197 fuel prices 26, 112–13, 209 fuel use declaration 195 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011) 52, 78 Fukuyama, Francis: The End of History and the Last Man 40–1 gardens 6, 43, 143, 156 gas, natural ix, 2, 5, 8, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 36, 50, 52, 68, 69, 79, 102, 109, 117, 119, 129, 136, 137, 146, 147–8, 149, 183, 190, 193, 194, 207–9, 210, 211, 214, 216–17 G8 47 gene editing 172, 176, 231 general election (2019) 121 genetics 98, 172, 174–6, 231 geoengineering 177 geothermal power 137, 178 Germany 9, 30, 47, 52, 59, 60, 62, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 77–80, 83, 91, 101, 112, 136, 137, 138, 144, 206, 208, 209 Energiewende (planned transition to a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy) 59, 69, 77–80, 112, 144, 208 Gilets Jaunes 101, 113 GMOs (genetically modified organisms) 176, 177 Great Northern Forest, Britain 151 Green and Prosperous Land (Helm) xiii, xiv, 165, 169, 234 greenbelt 173 greenhouse effect 17 green new deal 90, 102, 234 green parties/green votes 69, 77, 78 green QE (quantitative easing) 102–3 green walls 153, 231 greenwash 156 gross domestic product (GDP) xii, xv, 1, 25, 27, 29, 41, 57, 59, 73, 76, 83, 93, 98, 103, 133, 165, 207, 227, 229, 233 growth nodes 133 G7 47 G20 47 Haber-Bosch process 35, 163 Hamilton, Lewis 186 ‘hands-free’ fields 175 Harry, Prince 6 Heathrow 133, 134 hedgerow 76, 166, 167, 172 Helm Review (‘The Cost of Energy Review’) (2017) ix, 120, 141, 200, 210, 212, 215, 217, 220, 238 herbicide 163 home insulation 102 House of Lords 170 housing 101, 223–4 HS2 92, 125, 132–4, 138, 202 Hume, David 49 hydrogen 13, 49, 92, 125, 128, 135, 137, 183, 184, 190–2, 199, 200, 204, 206, 213, 228 hydro power 31, 35, 36, 50, 52–3, 70, 136, 137, 191 Iceland 137, 178 imports x–xi, xiii, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 62, 68, 70, 117–18, 155, 167, 178, 173, 180, 196, 227 income effect 72, 111 income tax 121, 122, 232 India xiv, xv, 25, 30, 31, 38, 43, 44, 47, 48, 51, 54, 55, 57, 154, 229 individuals, net zero for 155–7 Indonesia 2, 35 indoor farming 87–8, 177–8, 180, 213 indoor pollutants 223, 232 Industrial Revolution 1, 18, 19, 25, 47, 116, 145 INEOS Grangemouth petrochemical plant xi information and communications technology (ICT) 117, 202, 231 infrastructures, low-carbon xiii, xiv, 11–12, 14, 28, 60, 62, 65, 66, 90, 91–4, 96, 105, 109, 123, 125–42, 143, 147, 151, 154, 159, 171, 184, 186, 187, 190, 199–200, 214, 218–20, 228, 230, 231–2, 234–5 centrality of infrastructure networks 128–30 electric 125–41, 218–20 making it happen 141–2 net zero national infrastructure plan 130–6 private markets and 125–8, 141–2 regional and global infrastructure plan 136–7 state intervention and 126, 127–8, 141–2 system operators and implementing the plans 138–41 inheritance tax 76, 165 insects 164, 177, 231 insulation 102, 224 Integrated Assessment Models 114 intellectual property (IP) 75 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 17–18, 47, 55, 57, 108, 172 internal combustion engine 13, 22, 181–2, 183, 184, 200, 221, 228 Internal Energy Market (IEM) 68, 71, 138 International Energy Agency (IEA) 25, 207 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 51 internet banking 131, 213 internet-of-things 128, 175 Iran 27, 42, 113, 137 Iraq 56, 192 Ireland 43, 157 Italy 137, 182 Japan 27, 28, 30, 52, 73, 78, 101, 185 Jevons Paradox 224 Johnson, Boris 89–90 Kant, Immanuel 104 Keynes, John Maynard 89, 102, 103, 105 Kyoto Protocol (1997) xii, 2, 7, 9, 13, 17–18, 37, 38, 39, 40–1, 47–8, 49, 51, 52–3, 59, 66–7, 119 laissez-faire 104, 138, 188 land use 35, 61, 95, 172, 237 LED (light-emitting diode) lighting 87, 178, 179, 180, 213 liquefied natural gas (LNG) 136, 183 lithium-ion battery 185 lobbying 10, 14, 33, 69, 71, 109, 110, 111–12, 115, 121, 157, 169, 170, 187, 197, 209, 223, 227, 228 location-specific taxes 194 maize 35, 165, 197 Malaysia 2, 229 Malthus, Thomas 98 Mao, Chairman 27, 42 meat xi, 65, 164, 177, 180, 232 Mekong River 2, 28, 179, 229 Mercosur Agreement 44, 95 Merkel, Angela 78 methane 4, 23, 84, 177, 178, 179, 216 microplastics 22 miracle solution 49–50, 55, 209 mobile phone 5, 125, 185 National Farmers’ Union (NFU) 110, 164, 165, 169, 170, 171 National Grid 139, 141, 189, 200, 211, 214, 219 nationalisations 101–2, 126–7 nationalism 41, 43, 55, 56, 138 nationally determined contributions (NDCs) 54–5 natural capital xiii, 14, 33–6, 51, 85, 86, 88, 90, 94, 97, 154, 158, 168, 171, 173–4, 236 Nature Fund 123, 169, 234 net environmental gain principle xiii, xiv, 10, 12, 62, 84, 94–6, 105, 143–59, 169, 172–4, 192, 201–3, 222–5 agriculture and 169, 172–4 carbon offsetting and see carbon offsetting electricity and 222–5 principle of 94–6, 143–4 sequestration and see sequestration transport and 192, 201–3 Netherlands 138 Network Rail 214 net zero agriculture and see agriculture defined x–xv, 3–14 economy 10–12, 81–159 see also economy, net zero electricity and see electricity transport and see individual method of transport 2025 or 2030 target 89 2050 target x, xi, 5, 59, 66, 74, 75, 115, 120, 135, 143, 155, 167, 169, 180, 184, 216, 217, 222, 226, 230, 231, 232 unilateralism and see unilateralism NHS 65 non-excludable 91, 93, 126, 170 non-rivalry 91, 93, 126, 170 North Korea 42 North Sea oil/gas 9, 40, 75, 97, 102, 137, 139, 147, 148, 193 Norway 130, 137, 191 nuclear power 5, 9, 12, 18, 23, 52, 60, 73, 77–9, 109, 125, 128, 129, 136, 140, 178, 194, 199, 206, 207, 208, 209–10, 212, 214, 216, 218, 219, 222, 228 Obama, Barack 48, 53, 54, 59 oceans 2, 14, 22, 33, 85, 86, 88, 148, 163, 231 offsetting see carbon offsetting offshore wind power 31, 69, 75–6, 208, 212, 219, 221 Ofgem 220 oil ix, 2, 20, 22–3, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 36, 39, 40, 50, 67, 69, 86, 97, 117, 119, 129, 136, 137, 146, 147, 148–9, 150–1, 152, 181–3, 184, 185, 187, 189, 190, 192–4, 196, 197, 199, 206, 209, 210, 216–17, 229 OPEC 39, 40, 193 Orbán, Viktor 41, 42 organic food 61, 87, 178 Ørsted 70 palm oil 2, 5, 6, 35, 36, 66, 71, 167, 173, 197–8, 230 pandemic see Covid-19 Paris Climate Change Agreement (2015) xii, 2, 10, 13, 18, 30, 37, 38, 39, 48, 49, 54–5, 56, 57, 58, 66, 80, 105, 106, 118, 119, 227 peat bogs xiv, 2, 13, 14, 33, 35, 36, 43, 109, 146, 169, 179 pesticides 4, 26, 61, 163, 165, 169, 174, 178, 231 petrochemicals xi, 7, 8, 20, 22–3, 29, 73, 80, 86, 117, 166, 182 petrol 4, 86, 119, 121, 129, 185, 186, 187, 191, 192, 199 photosynthesis 34, 197 plastics 1, 22, 28, 35, 43, 66, 86, 87, 119, 143, 166, 184, 231 polluter-pays principle xiii, xv, 84–90 agriculture and 76, 168–70, 172, 173 carbon price and see carbon price/tax generalised across all sources of pollution 86 identifying polluters that should pay 86 importance of 10–11, 13, 61, 62, 65 intergenerational balance and 96–7 net environmental gain and 94 sequestration and see sequestration, carbon sustainable economy and 96–7, 105, 106 transport and 192–5, 198–9 see also individual type of pollution population growth 93, 97, 177, 178, 179, 232 privatisation 127, 140, 218–19, 220 property developers 94 public goods, provision of xiii, 10, 11–12, 62, 75, 84, 90–4, 96, 104, 105, 109, 122, 123, 126, 128, 141, 147, 151, 153, 159, 164, 168, 173–4, 180, 192, 199–200, 202, 218, 229, 230 agricultural 170–4, 180 low-carbon infrastructures see infrastructures, low-carbon research and development (R&D) see research and development (R&D) Putin, Vladimir 27, 41, 42, 89 railways 11, 13, 13, 87, 91, 92, 94, 125, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132–3, 138, 139, 156, 182, 183, 187, 202, 212, 214, 232 rainforest 2, 5, 34, 35, 36, 38, 44, 47, 55, 87, 95, 145, 149, 155, 173, 179–80, 197, 229 rationalism 40–1 Reagan, Ronald 103 red diesel 76, 109, 164, 165, 196 regulated asset base (RAB) 127, 141, 215, 220 remote working 128, 156, 201–2, 205 renewables ix, 6, 8, 9–10, 18, 19, 21, 26, 31–5, 36, 49, 50, 55, 61, 67, 72, 77, 79, 85, 86, 109, 110, 112, 123, 125, 128, 131, 135, 138, 140, 144, 149, 178, 188, 191, 194, 197, 199, 207, 209–10, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 219, 220–2, 224, 228 Chinese domination of market 9, 32, 73, 74, 77, 79 cost-competitiveness of 9–10, 49, 51, 61, 68 failure of, 1990-now 19, 31–3, 36 modern global renewable energy consumption measured in TWh per year 32 miracle solution and 49–51 Renewable Energy Directive 68–71, 73, 109 subsidies ix, 9, 10, 50, 68–9, 71, 79, 80 see also individual renewable energy source Renewables UK 110 research and development (R&D) xiv, 12, 13, 14, 62, 65, 66, 90, 93–4, 104, 109, 123, 165, 172, 192, 200, 218, 220–2, 223, 228, 234 reshoring businesses 8, 204 rivers 2, 22, 28, 86, 128, 152, 165, 169, 179, 214, 230 roads 11, 28, 45, 91, 92, 125, 129, 131–2, 140, 165, 182, 189, 194, 198, 202, 232 robotics 32, 175, 204, 206, 231 Rosneft 26 Royal Navy 183 Russia 26, 27, 30, 40, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 52, 55, 56, 192, 193 RWE 139, 218 Ryanair 156–7 rye grass 35 salmon 169, 177 Saudi Arabia 26, 33, 40, 42, 50, 137, 192, 193 Saudi Aramco 26, 50 seashells 34 sequestration, carbon xi, xiv, 12, 61, 66, 85, 90, 95, 143–59, 228, 229, 231, 232 agriculture and 12, 163, 166, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 176–7, 179, 180 baseline definition and 146–7 biofuels and 35, 146, 217 carbon capture and storage (CCS) xiv, 12, 75–6, 95, 109, 146, 147–8, 149, 154, 159, 203–4, 207, 209, 222, 223 companies, net zero for 148–51 countries, offsetting for 151–5 electricity and 222, 223 gas and 207 individuals, net zero for xi, xiv, 155–7 markets, offsetting 157–9 natural capital destruction and 2, 19, 33–6, 44, 45, 51 natural sequestration xi, xiii, 2, 7, 12, 14, 33–6, 37, 45, 52, 66, 85, 90, 94–6, 105, 143–59, 163, 168, 171, 173, 176–7, 179, 180, 203, 206, 207, 222, 223 net gain principle and 143–4, 146, 149–50 offsetting principle and 143–5 peat bogs and see peat bogs principle of xi, xiii, 2, 7, 12–13 soils and see soils transport and 185, 190, 203 tree planting and see trees, planting/sequestration and types of 145–8 wetlands/coastal marshes and 146, 159, 233 shale gas 8, 208 Shell 27, 149, 199 shipping 8, 13, 22, 28, 36, 49, 114, 125, 137, 181, 182–3, 191, 194–5, 203–5, 217 Siberia 2, 46 smart appliances 128, 129, 132 smart charging 11, 13, 128, 129, 130, 139, 214, 219 soils xiii, 2, 5, 7, 12, 14, 33, 35, 36, 43, 55, 76, 109, 146, 149, 152, 156, 159, 163, 164, 165, 166, 168, 169, 171, 172, 175, 179, 203, 228 solar panels/solar photovoltaics (PV) 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 21, 31, 32, 33, 49, 53, 68, 69, 71, 74, 79, 87, 91, 135, 136, 137, 178, 179, 188, 204, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 213, 214, 216, 217, 221, 222, 223, 224–5 Sony 185 Soviet Union 18, 40, 52, 67–8, 89 soya 95 Spain 69, 130, 137 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) 106, 121, 192 spruce xiv, 152, 170 standard of living xv, 1, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 229, 233 staycations 201 steel x–xi, 6, 7, 8, 26, 28, 29, 53, 66, 73, 80, 87, 116, 117, 118, 119, 171, 184, 194–5 Stern, Nicholas: The Economics of Climate Change 41, 63 subsidies ix, 9, 10, 14, 32, 50, 51, 52, 53, 69, 71, 76, 79, 80, 89, 102, 109, 110, 113, 116, 123, 140, 154, 164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 170, 172, 180, 193, 196, 198, 209, 215, 221, 222, 228, 230 sugar cane 35, 71, 95, 197, 198 sulphur pollution 22, 25, 28, 78, 191, 194, 197, 230 sustainable economic growth xv, 10, 12, 14, 61, 83, 92, 94, 97, 98, 105, 227, 233 Taiwan 42 taxation xii, 11, 62, 71, 72, 76, 80, 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 97, 101, 102, 103, 106–24, 126, 127, 130, 133, 147, 150, 151–2, 153–4, 157, 159, 165, 169, 170, 192–6, 197, 198, 199, 203, 232, 234 technological change 98, 127, 141, 174–5, 221 Thatcher, Margaret 17 Thompson, Emma 6 3D printing 175, 204 Thunberg, Greta 6, 205 tidal shocks 159 top-down treaty frameworks 13, 38–57, 80, 110, 119 tourism/holidays 6, 22, 36, 88, 94, 107, 114, 128, 156, 201, 204–5 transport, reinventing 181–205 aviation 195, 201, 203–5 see also air transport batteries and charging networks 185–90 biofuels 196–8 electric alternative 183–5 hydrogen and fuel cells 190–2 innovation, R&D and new infrastructures 199–200 internal combustion engine 181–2 net gain and offsets (reducing travel versus buying out your pollution) 201–3 oil 183–4 polluter pays/carbon tax 192–6 shipping 203–5 urban regulation and planning 198–9 vehicle standards 196–8 see also individual type of transport Treasury, UK 120–2 trees, planting/sequestration and xi, xiii, xiv, 2, 7, 13, 14, 33, 34, 45, 76, 85, 94–6, 146, 148, 149–51, 152–3, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 168, 169, 172, 179, 203, 231 trophy project syndrome 133 Trump, Donald 2, 8, 41, 42, 48, 89, 99, 103, 121 25 Year Environment Plan xiii, 153, 170, 179–80 UK 47, 69 agriculture and 164, 166, 167, 173 carbon emissions (2015) 30 carbon price and 115, 120 Climate Change Act (2008) 66, 74–7 coal, phasing out of 24–5, 60–1, 77, 208 Committee on Climate Change (CCC) x–xi, 7, 74–6, 120, 164, 166, 169, 217, 235 deindustrialisation and 72–4 80 per cent carbon reduction target by 2050 74 electricity and 206, 208, 218, 219, 224 Helm Review (‘The Cost of Energy Review’) (2017) ix, 120, 141, 200, 210, 212, 215, 217, 220, 238 infrastructure 125, 132–3, 134, 137, 139–40 net zero passed into law (2019) 66 sequestration and 145, 150, 153, 154, 155, 156 transport and 195–6, 197, 198 unilateralism and 58–9, 60–1, 65, 66, 69, 72–7, 80 unilateralism xi, 8, 10, 11, 25, 58–80, 83, 105, 106, 119, 125, 143, 144, 155, 164, 167, 197, 203, 227 in Europe 66–80 incentive problem and 58–60 morality and 62–6 no regrets exemplars and/showcase examples of how decarbonisation can be achieved 60–2 place for 80 way forward and 80, 83 United Nations xi, xii, 6, 10, 17, 37, 38, 118 carbon cartel, ambition to create a 39–40, 43, 45, 46–7, 56 climate treaty processes xi, 6, 10, 13, 17–18, 36, 37, 38–57, 59, 80, 110, 118, 119, 204–5 see also individual treaty name Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17–18, 36, 38, 59 miracle solution and 50–1 origins and philosophy of 41 Security Council 46, 47, 57 United States 8, 74, 139, 206 agriculture in 175, 176, 197 carbon emissions 8, 29, 30 China and 27–8, 42, 118 coal and 2, 24, 28, 29, 208 economic imperialism 45 energy independence 50 gas and 8, 20, 23, 24, 29, 50, 208 oil production 40, 50, 193 pollution since 1990 29 unilateralism and 58, 59, 74 UN climate treaty process and 38, 40–1, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 53, 54, 56 universal service obligations (USOs) 92, 126, 131, 202 utilitarianism 41, 63–4, 108, 110 VAT 117, 119–20, 121, 122, 232 Vesta 69 Volkswagen 196–7 water companies 76, 214, 230 water pollution/quality xiv, 12, 22, 61, 76, 152, 153, 165, 169, 170, 171, 172, 175, 177, 178, 179, 180, 232 Wen Jiabao 53, 59 wetlands 159, 233 wildflower meadow 164, 184 wind power 5, 9, 12, 21, 31, 32, 33, 49, 53, 68, 69–70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 91, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 178, 188, 191, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214–15, 216, 217, 219, 221, 222 wood pellets 67, 217, 230 Woodland Trust 156, 158 World Bank 51 World Trade Organization (WTO) 52, 56, 118 World War I 183 World War II (1939–45) 78, 90, 92, 101, 106, 171 Xi Jinping 27, 41, 42 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS So much is now discussed, written and published about climate change that it is impossible to keep track of all the ideas and conversations that have influenced my understanding of the subject.


pages: 348 words: 102,438

Green and Prosperous Land: A Blueprint for Rescuing the British Countryside by Dieter Helm

3D printing, Airbnb, barriers to entry, British Empire, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, digital map, facts on the ground, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, precision agriculture, quantitative easing, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, Tragedy of the Commons, urban planning, urban sprawl

The general carbon emissions from agriculture are something the Climate Change Committee has not yet properly tackled – surprisingly, given that the costs of foregone agricultural outputs are likely to be small given the subsidies.3 The thing about soils is that they are renewable, up to a point. The continuous interaction of fungi, bacteria and invertebrates breaks down organic materials that come from the residues like stubbles, manures, leaves and other vegetation. Many of these resources for renewing the soils have been drying up. Manure is no longer a major fertiliser: the Haber-Bosch process for manufacturing fertilisers has put paid to this.4 Manure is increasingly a waste to be disposed of. If the carbon concentrations in the soils diminish, the invertebrates and other soil life are starved of their supplies of raw materials, while the chemical doses kill off much that we cannot see with our eyes.

., ‘Urban Cultivation in Allotments Maintains Soil Qualities Adversely Affected by Conventional Agriculture’, Journal of Applied Ecology, 24 April 2014, https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-­2664.12254. 3 See Helm, D., ‘The Cost of Energy Review’, report prepared for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, October 2017. 4 The Haber-Bosch process was developed in the early twentieth century, and fixes nitrogen with hydrogen to produce ammonia, thereby facilitating the mass production of fertilisers. 5 For a summary, see House of Commons Library, ‘The UK Bee Population’, CDP 2017/0226, 10 November 2017. 6 The classic peregrine study is The Peregrine Falcon by Derek Ratcliffe (Poyser, 1980; expanded second edition 1993). 7 Nature, ‘Flying Insects Are Disappearing from German Skies’, 18 October 2017, www.nature.com/articles/d41586-­017-­04774-­7. 8 For background, see the Woodlands.co.uk blog at www.woodlands.co.uk/blog/flora-­and-­fauna/hedgerow-­loss/. 9 Farmers continue to press for derogations so they can cut hedges early.

Abbots Hall Farm, Essex 143 Africa 1, 48, 55 agriculture: ammonia emissions from 88, 102, 153, 179, 223, 224 antibiotic use in 197, 216 average age of British farmer 89, 214, 217 carbon emissions from 82, 102, 104, 183, 197, 199, 200, 201, 214, 216, 223 cattle farming 62, 87, 99, 106, 107, 108, 119, 179, 264, 267 crops/arable farming see individual crop name cross-compliance and 97, 98, 251 digitalisation and 81, 96, 100 disaster of modern British, recognising the scale of 80 economics of British, 88–90 ‘enemies of’, elimination of 4–5 fertiliser use 22, 39, 43, 65, 80, 82, 86, 87, 94, 96, 100, 102, 119, 124, 163, 196–7, 200, 201, 216, 223, 243, 244, 253, 254 field margins 96–7, 251 food security/self-sufficiency as priority in 32, 99–102, 106, 182–4, 210 genetics and 4, 81, 95–6 green 79–104 herbicide use 4, 21, 22, 43, 44–5, 65, 83, 84, 85, 95, 96, 97, 100, 102, 124, 197, 199, 200, 201, 216, 223, 243 history of British intensification of 80 impact on farmers of a better agricultural sector and countryside 102–4 intensification of xii, 44, 58, 80–8, 93, 152, 211 land ownership and prices 8, 9, 11, 75, 89, 92–3, 102–3, 168, 190, 193, 198, 211–13, 214, 217–18 live export of animals 23, 101 Nature Fund and 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 232–3, 239, 240 new sustainable and prosperous 93–7 organic 96–7, 119, 197, 223 pesticide use xii, 21, 22, 43, 45, 65, 82, 83, 84, 95, 96, 100, 102, 124, 197, 199, 200, 201, 216, 223, 243, 244 polluter-pays principle and 88, 95, 99–100, 101, 103, 104, 195, 196–8, 199, 201, 203–4, 205, 207, 210–14, 216, 217–18 pollution from xii, xiv, 4, 5–6, 8, 11, 19–21, 22, 23–4, 32, 39, 43–5, 56, 61, 62, 64–6, 74–8, 80, 81–2, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89–90, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99–100, 101, 102–4, 119, 123, 124, 128, 136, 163, 179, 180, 195–218, 223, 224, 242, 243, 244, 248, 251, 253, 254, 255 see also fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides public goods concept and 92–7, 98, 99, 102–4, 179, 181–4, 188, 189, 190–1, 192, 193, 194 run-off from 4, 5, 19–21, 22, 43–4, 61, 62, 64–6, 74, 76, 81, 85, 96, 123, 179, 180, 180, 196–8, 203–4, 205, 207, 216–17, 224, 242, 248, 251 slurry and 21, 22, 64–5, 74, 179, 180, 190, 203, 204, 205, 224 soils and see soils subsidies and xii, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 34, 45, 62–3, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 87, 88–90, 95, 97, 100, 101, 102–4, 110–11, 118, 119–20, 122, 124, 126, 139, 183, 184, 188, 191, 195, 204, 205, 210–15, 217, 218, 219, 220–1, 226–7, 232, 234, 239, 241, 243, 244, 247, 253 see also subsidies tariffs and 87–8, 89, 102, 104 technology, future of and 5–7, 9, 80–1, 96, 100, 120, 223, 251, 263 25 Year Environment Plan and 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246–7, 248, 250, 251, 253, 255, 258 upland sheep farming 11, 21–2, 23, 33, 62–3, 64, 74, 87, 101, 106–7, 108, 110–11, 113, 119, 122, 124, 125, 183, 190, 210, 211, 217, 218, 264, 267 value of countryside for other uses and 90–3 wildlife corridors and 97–9 Agriculture Act (1947) 80 Agriculture Bill (2018) 103, 122, 232 agri-environment schemes 75, 111, 212, 220, 251, 257 AI (artificial intelligence) 230, 252–4, 255, 258 air pollution 18, 184, 264, 266 costs of 171 deaths linked to xiv, 154 evidence of improvements in air quality 39 farming and 44, 81, 88, 93, 96, 179, 255 future of 28, 219, 221, 246, 247, 249, 254, 255, 261, 262 green spaces and 24, 155, 156–8, 162, 167 green walls and 162 measuring 5, 28, 246, 254 Nature Fund and 219, 221 polluter-pays principle and 196, 199, 203, 215 technology and 154, 169, 254, 255 towns/cities and 152, 153–4, 155, 156, 157, 158, 162, 167, 169, 171 25 Year Environment Plan and 246, 247, 249, 254, 255, 261, 262 algae 32, 34, 68, 136, 156, 196, 216, 251 Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Scotland 108 Anthropocene 2 antibiotics 38, 68, 197, 216 aphids 84 arable weeds 44, 80, 85, 97 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) 63, 105, 117, 257 Asian hornet 147 avocet 133, 161 Bank of England 232, 240 barbed wire 124–5 barley 86 Barle, River 63 barn owl xi, 31, 85, 195 Batters, Minette 99 BBC xiv, 128, 176–7, 178, 224–5 beaches 4, 7, 17, 34, 127, 128, 129, 131–2, 136, 149, 184, 246 beaver 4, 8, 31, 108, 250 Beckton Sewage Treatment Works 20 bees 35, 83, 84, 85, 94, 170 Betjeman, John 166 Big Data 81, 251, 252, 254, 255 biofuels 101, 183 biophilia xiv, 160, 261 birds xv, 5, 8, 17, 20, 37, 42, 43, 61, 72, 80, 83, 84, 86, 87, 91, 97, 124, 129, 130, 132, 133, 134, 140, 158, 189, 204, 207, 217, 222, 243, 245, 252, 264 eggs, stealing 203, 205 farmland xi, 21, 32, 33, 44, 58, 85, 94, 107, 246, 250, 263 game 4, 34, 113–14, 115, 116 seabirds 34, 129, 137, 138–9, 142, 143, 144, 146–7, 149, 150, 156, 263 songbirds 39 upland 40, 119–20 urban 159–62, 164, 170, 185 wading 123 woodland 45 bittern 19, 161 Blackwater, River 134, 253 blanket bog 63 Bleaklow, Peak District 67 Blue Belt 145, 151 blue-fin tuna 137 Blue Flag system 131 Blue Planet II (TV series) xiv, 176–7 bracken 109, 123, 145 Brecklands 8, 183 brent geese xi, 253 Brexit 49, 92, 118, 220, 232, 243, 260 brownfield sites 46, 130, 159, 167, 170, 206 business rates 88, 89, 102, 213, 214 butterflies 17, 18, 91, 195, 207 buzzard 4, 40, 113, 115 Camel, River 134 Canvey Island 130, 159 Canvey Wick 159 carbon: budgets 13, 233, 249 emissions 28, 33, 41, 43, 51, 53, 58, 82, 83, 88, 89, 101, 102, 104, 154, 175, 183, 196, 197, 199, 200, 201, 202, 214, 216, 223, 224, 233 fuel taxes and 214 price 10, 89, 104, 175, 201, 202, 214, 216, 223 as private good 175 in soils 7, 184, 216, 246 stores 124, 133 tax 223, 224 Carboniferous age 1 Carbon Price Floor 89, 223 Carson, Rachel: Silent Spring 5 cattle farming 62, 87, 99, 106, 107, 108, 119, 179, 264, 267 cereal crops 5, 21, 39, 64, 85–6, 97, 101 Channel Islands 139 China 25, 55–6, 155 cirl bunting 40 Cley Marshes 133 climate change xiii–xiv, 6, 13, 33, 40, 44, 46, 56, 63, 74, 79, 82, 92, 133, 135, 158, 188–9, 219, 229, 230, 233, 234, 243, 249, 256, 258, 264 Climate Change Act (2008) 13, 233, 249, 258 Climate Change Committee 82, 234 coal 1, 42, 201 mining 42, 67, 68, 103, 111 power 153, 159, 201 Coal Authority 67 Coast (TV programme) 128 coasts 9, 19, 22, 29, 30, 32, 34, 43, 45–6, 127–51, 159, 185, 188, 206, 221, 241, 243, 245, 266 access to 128, 129, 130, 145–6, 149, 150 beaches and 4, 7, 17, 34, 127, 128, 129, 131–2, 136, 149, 184, 246 climate and 127–8, 136 coastal fringe 128–31 Coastal Green Belt 247 coastal paths 7, 128, 129–30, 145, 186, 189 coastal prize in 2050 150–1 coastal waters 135–9 eradication of alien species from islands 146–8 estuaries and 134–5 fishing and 24, 128, 133, 136–9, 141–5 habitat restoration 145–6 islands and 139–40, 146–8 marshes at the sea edges 132–3, 250, 253 Nature Fund and 221 pollution/waste and 32, 45–6, 67, 128, 131, 134–5, 136, 137, 138, 144, 148, 158, 204 ports and 130 public love of 127–8 returning to good health (and increasing prosperity) 140–50 tourism and 24, 91, 127, 128, 131, 139, 140, 148–50 wildlife corridors and 17, 129–32, 150, 186 cod 137, 142 colour, landscape and 17, 31, 32, 39, 87, 124, 163 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) xii, 80 basic farm payment/land ownership and 89–90, 97, 103, 193, 212 cross-compliance and 97, 98, 251 economics of British farming and 88, 89, 90 food prices and 80, 97 Nature Fund and 220–1, 226, 232, 234–5, 239 NFU defence of 211 Pillar 1 payments 212 Pillar 2 payments 212–13, 232 pollution and 89, 204, 210–13 redirecting to provision of public goods 102–4, 191, 193, 212–13, 220–1, 226, 232, 234–5, 239, 241, 243, 244, 247 reforms, 2000 211–12 25 Year Environment Plan and 241, 243, 244, 247 upland farming economics and 45, 110–11, 126, 220–1 welfare state, as branch of 218 withdrawal from 217 Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) 142 commuting 54, 71, 169 compensation payments 10, 11, 42–3, 52, 88, 144–5, 166, 179, 185–6, 194, 195, 206–9, 213, 219, 225–6, 235 see also polluter-pays principle Conservative Party 50 consumption, rising xii, 47, 49, 55–6, 57, 199 corncrake 140 Cornwall 68, 12, 134 corvids 115 Cost of Energy Review (2017) 201 Country Land and Business Association (CLA) 166 Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund 98 crime, wildlife 33, 34, 113–14, 203, 204–5 see also individual area of crime crofting 139–40 cross-compliance 97, 98, 251 Crossrail 2 26, 27, 28, 53, 133, 208 Crown Estate 238, 250 cuckoo 3, 18, 37, 84 Cumbria river catchment 30–1, 257–8 curlew 17, 31, 36, 37, 185 Dartmoor 35, 105, 119 Dart, River 134 DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) 5, 40, 84, 96 declines 3, 8, 18–25, 27, 32, 39, 40, 42–6, 47, 74, 82, 83, 140, 156, 184, 185, 208, 264, 268 deer 33–4, 36, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 112, 115, 116, 119, 147, 190 DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 3, 76, 188, 219, 221, 232, 236, 266 ‘Heath and Harmony: The Future for Food, Farming and the Environment in a Green Brexit’ 232 Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) 219 Department for Education (DfE) 219 Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) 219 Devon 4, 145 diesel 88, 89, 102, 136, 153, 154, 179, 214, 223, 264 Dig for Victory 80, 183 digitalisation 26, 37, 41, 42, 54, 64, 81, 96, 100, 230 Dovey Estuary 134 economics: agriculture and see agriculture British farming’s 52, 62–3, 65–6, 67, 79–80, 87–90, 99–104 building a greener economy 59–171 see also agriculture; coasts; rivers; towns/cities and uplands consumption rates, rising 55–6 cost–benefit analysis xvi, 29, 31, 184, 186–9, 194 destruction of nature, economic progress and xiii–xiv, 5, 6–7, 8–9, 24–5, 38 see also agriculture; coasts; rivers; towns/cities and uplands externalities 179, 180, 182, 183, 194, 210 fossil fuel xii, 42–3, 154, 264 see also coal and oil investing in nature to increase prosperity xiii, xv, 7–9, 17, 21, 24–5, 26–7 see also agriculture; coasts; rivers; towns/cities and uplands measuring cost of lost environment 208–9 measuring economic output of natural world xvi, 2, 3, 9, 27–30, 34, 51, 55, 56, 88, 141, 148, 175–262, 264 see also agriculture; coasts; rivers; towns/cities and uplands natural capital loss as a price worth paying 38 Nature Fund and see Nature Fund option value 188 polluter-pays principle and see polluter-pays principle population growth and xii, 11, 44, 47–50, 52, 55, 58, 166, 183 public goods and see public goods short-term, inefficient 40, 77, 112, 157, 231, 234, 238, 256, 261 25 Year Environment Plan and see 25 Year Environment Plan electricity 26, 28, 53, 54, 71, 75, 76, 100, 101, 135, 153, 201, 215, 223, 245, 262, 268 endangered species 18, 185, 205, 243 Ennerdale 121 EnTrade 78 Environment Agency 63, 65, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 88, 133, 141, 190–1, 192, 220, 221, 232, 257, 258, 260 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee 182 Environment Protection Agency, proposed 205, 260 Essex coast xi, 129, 132, 133, 143, 145 European Economic Community (EEC) 95 European Union (EU) 48, 87, 89, 92, 139, 141, 211, 243, 268 air quality and 153 Bathing Water Directives 131–2 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) xii, 45, 75, 80, 88, 89, 90, 97, 102–3, 110–11, 126, 141, 191, 193, 204, 210–13, 217, 218, 220–1, 226, 232, 234, 239, 241, 243, 244, 247 Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) 142 Water Framework Directive 77, 242, 243 eutrophication 19, 196 Exmoor 87, 89, 105, 114, 119, 120, 123, 125–6, 129, 267 Exmoor Mires Project 63, 78, 125–6 Exe, River 63 extinctions xiv, 40, 123, 250 Farmers Weekly 95, 96, 199, 204 Farne Islands 139 Fens 25, 32, 33, 82, 90, 132 fertiliser 22, 39, 43, 65, 80, 82, 86, 87, 94, 96, 100, 102, 119, 124, 163, 196–7, 200, 201, 216, 223, 243, 244, 253, 254 field margins 96–7, 251 financial crisis (2007–8) xii, 56 fish: farms 22, 34, 37, 45, 46, 57, 138, 139, 140, 144–5, 151 pollution and 34, 64, 68 rivers and 61, 64, 68, 97 fishing: coastal waters and 128, 129, 133, 134, 135, 136–9, 140 destructive practices 9–10, 17, 22, 24, 34, 128, 135, 136–9, 140, 141–5, 151, 175, 264 long-term management of 34, 141–5 Marine Protected Areas and 7, 268 policy fit for purpose 141–5 regulatory body 248 role in British economy 2, 148 subsidies 142, 221 flea beetles 84 flooding: climate change and 44 coasts and 127, 133 farming practices and 63, 65, 66, 81 flood meadows and 30, 66 floodplains and 61, 73–4, 77 Green Belt and 167 housing, urban centres, roads and 73–4, 75, 153, 158 industrial legacy and 67 natural management of 8, 18, 30, 31, 35, 124, 220, 248, 260, 268 Nature Fund and 219, 220, 221 paying for pollution and 213 peat bogs and 62, 119, 124 public goods and 181, 184, 189, 191, 192 sewage systems and 71–2 system operator and 76, 77, 258 25 Year Environment Plan and 248, 257, 258, 260 upper rivers and 62 flowers 7, 33, 35, 83, 94, 97, 124, 140, 157, 162, 163, 164, 168, 169, 170, 217, 246–7, 263 flycatcher 3, 13, 35, 36, 37, 84, 185, 261 fly-tipping 205 food 2, 3, 22, 33, 258 cost of 56, 88, 90 intensification of production 80–1, 87 link between production and consumption 168 polluter-pays principle and 198, 199 public goods and 92, 93–4, 182–4, 193 security/self-sufficiency 32, 99–102, 106, 182–4, 210 soils and 33, 81–3 subsidies and 100–4, 210–13 see also subsidies uplands and 122 waste 160 ‘Food from Our Own Resources’ (White Paper, 1975) 80 footpaths 7, 92, 98, 99, 123, 130, 145, 149, 169, 170, 191 Forest of Bowland 63 Forest of Dean 160 forests 4, 33, 39, 63, 107, 108, 109, 110, 112, 117, 160, 175, 178, 179, 180, 196, 230, 238, 247, 250 Fowey, River 134 fox 108, 113, 115, 159, 253 Friends of the Seals 150 frog 35, 81, 85, 164 fuel xii, 101, 102, 154, 183, 213, 214, 217, 223, 264 fungicides 95 gamekeeper 113–14, 115, 203, 204 game shooting 4, 34, 101, 113–14, 115, 116, 183, 203, 204, 258 Garden Bridge, London 221 garden centres 170–1 gardens xi, xiv, 7, 23, 35, 43, 46, 71, 85, 139, 147, 155, 162–4, 165, 167, 170–1, 207 genetically modified (GM) crops 4, 95–6 genetics 4, 5, 81, 95–6, 230, 252 genomics 38, 252, 254 GlaxoSmithKline 69 globalisation, species 41 glyphosate 4–5, 44–5, 80, 84, 85, 86, 95, 217 golden eagle 4, 113, 123, 203 golden plover 17, 36, 123 goshawk 160 GPS 6, 96, 223 Grand Banks cod fishery 137, 142 grasses/grassland 5, 31, 39, 64, 65, 87, 119, 124, 152, 155–6, 163, 164, 253 Great Stink of London (1858) 19–20, 158 Green Belt 7, 10, 17, 37, 46, 47, 50, 51–2, 57, 117, 145, 150, 151, 165–70, 185, 207, 208, 209, 247, 263 Green Belt National Parks 169, 170 green bonds 235–6 green corridors 7, 31, 164–5, 186, 191, 234, 247, 250 see also wildlife corridors green prize 8, 9, 17–36 enhancements and 25–36 no more declines and 18–25 securing 263–8 green spaces 7, 8, 22, 23, 24, 35, 46, 153, 155–6, 161–5, 167, 169, 170, 178, 189, 206, 221, 230, 262, 268 grey wagtail 61 grey water storage 71, 74 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) xvi, 2, 3, 9, 34, 51, 55, 56, 88, 141, 148, 264 groundwater 19, 41, 67, 69, 70 grouse shooting 4, 33, 106, 113–14, 115, 116, 183, 190, 203, 204, 258 Gulf Stream 2, 127–8, 136 Gwent Levels 57 Haber-Bosch process 82 hay meadows 17, 109, 124, 125 heather 33, 113, 123–4 Hebrides 1, 139 hedgehog 35, 85, 139, 162, 163, 164, 170 hedgerows xii, 21, 31–2, 36, 79, 85, 90, 97, 98, 103, 109, 123, 124–5, 167, 169, 180, 191, 207, 210, 211 hen harrier 33, 36, 113–14, 120, 123, 185, 203, 205, 250 herbicides 4, 21, 22, 43, 44–5, 65, 83, 84, 85, 95, 96, 97, 100, 102, 124, 197, 199, 200, 201, 216, 223, 243 Heritage Lottery Fund 247 Highland Clearances 106, 139–40 hill farming 24, 80, 89, 101, 103, 217–18 Hill Farming Act (1946) 80 Hobhouse Report 116 housing xii, 3, 7, 9, 11, 35, 37, 46, 49, 50–2, 53–4, 55, 57, 58, 72–3, 75, 77, 117, 128, 155, 165, 166, 170, 185, 205–6, 207, 209, 225–6 house sparrow xi, 21, 160–1, 185, 252 HS2 3, 26, 27, 28, 29, 47, 57, 185, 186, 226 Humber, River 134 Hyde Park 155, 156–7, 160 hypothecation 202–3, 224, 225, 236, 239 immigration 48–50, 183 India 48, 55, 155 industrial policy xii, 67–9, 128, 203, 215 industrial pollution 19–21, 61, 67–9, 77, 138, 203, 215 Industrial Revolution 3, 19, 41, 136, 155, 160 infrastructure xii, 18–19, 24, 26, 28, 29, 35, 44, 47, 49, 50, 52–4, 55, 56, 57, 58, 72, 74, 75, 120, 125, 134, 152, 157, 165, 168–9, 170, 176, 185, 207, 215, 226, 245, 267 inheritance tax 88, 89, 213–14, 217 insects xv, 4–5, 18, 20, 21, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 42, 45, 58, 72, 83, 84–5, 86, 87, 94, 97, 112, 115, 119, 124, 129, 147, 160, 162, 168, 170, 189, 217, 222, 243, 245, 252 internet 28, 54, 177, 205 Isle of Arran 141–2 Isle of Man 139, 141 Isle of Skye 140 Isles of Scilly 139, 145, 147, 149 Japanese knotweed 148 kingfisher 61, 164 Kingsbrook 165 Knepp Castle 108, 197 Labour Party 50 Lake District 1, 35, 105, 111, 121, 122–3, 158 lakes 19, 30, 61, 70, 122–3, 216, 225 land development xii, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 20, 35, 37, 46, 47, 49, 50–5, 57, 58, 72–3, 75, 77, 78, 89, 117, 118, 121, 128, 155, 156, 157–8, 165–70, 185–6, 189, 205–9, 215, 216, 218, 225–6, 241, 245, 268 landfill 136, 159, 200 land ownership/prices 8, 9, 11, 89, 92–3, 100, 102–3, 106, 156, 165–70, 189–90, 193, 198, 212, 213, 214, 217, 268 Land Trust 236 lapwing xi, xii, 31, 185 Larkin, Philip: ‘Going, Going’ vii lemmings 253 live export of animals 23, 101 lobbyists 4–5, 13, 52, 54, 57, 84, 87, 101–4, 116, 143, 166, 221, 239, 258–9, 261 London 19–20, 29, 43, 47, 49, 73, 74, 142, 153, 155–6, 158, 159, 160, 161, 209, 221 see also individual place name London Wetland Centre 74, 159 Lundy 146 lynx 4, 108, 250 MacFarlane, Robert 98 Macron, Emmanuel 96 maize 5, 21, 62, 63, 65, 86, 250 Malta 84, 243 Manx shearwater 146, 150 marginal land 87, 103, 183, 210, 211, 214, 217–18, 250 marginal losses 57–8 Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) 130 Marine Conservation Zones 145 Marine Protected Areas 7, 10, 143, 145, 151, 247, 268 Marlborough Downs 98 Marsh harrier 133 marshes xi, 17, 128, 129, 130, 132–3, 145, 149, 151, 181, 208, 215, 250, 253 mayflies 41 meadows 17, 30, 31, 45, 66, 79, 87, 103, 109, 124, 125, 167, 168, 169, 209, 246–7, 263, 264 mental health, nature and xiv, 5–6, 24, 25, 28, 34, 73, 162, 169, 171, 189, 254, 264 Mersey, River 20, 40, 158, 209 metaldehyde 85, 190 mining 20, 67, 68, 73, 111, 235 Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) 80 Ministry of Defence (MOD) 130 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) 219 Minsmere RSPB reserve 133 Mitchell, Joni: ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ vii, 57 molinia grass (Molinia caerulea) 124 Monsanto 95 moorland 33, 62, 67, 87, 103, 118, 119, 123–4, 180, 183, 190, 204, 210, 251, 258 M3 208 Muir, John 116 National Audit Office (NAO) 234 National Farmers’ Union (NFU) 80, 90, 99, 166, 182, 183, 211, 239, 258, 260 National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) 26, 44 National Parks xiv, 52, 105, 116–18, 121, 124, 125–6, 143, 169, 170, 178, 185, 220, 221, 234, 240, 241, 248, 257, 266, 267 National Parks Act (1949) 116–17 National Trust 117, 125, 130, 146, 177, 185, 192, 220, 221, 236, 237, 239 natural assets see individual asset name natural capital: acknowledgement of concept, lack of 265 aggregate measure of overall state of 41 categories/fundamental building blocks of 30, 41 see also individual category name definition of xiv, 2 enhancing/natural capital approach to management of environment 25–32 holding the line against further deterioration of 17, 18–25 maintenance 19, 24–32, 29, 119, 125, 156, 178, 184–5, 186, 187, 226, 234, 237–8, 246, 248, 259, 268 monitoring state of 250–5 Nature Fund and see Nature Fund NCC and xiv–xv see also Natural Capital Committee (NCC) as neo-liberal conspiracy 266–7 non-renewable 12, 42–3, 137, 205, 219, 228, 231, 235, 250 paying for pollution and 195, 198, 205, 206, 215 piecing together evidence for main categories of 41–2 public goods and 175, 176, 177, 178, 179–80, 181, 184, 185–6, 187, 188–9, 193, 194 renewable 12, 18, 28, 43, 69, 82–3, 123, 137, 140, 141, 142, 185, 195, 205, 206, 219, 228, 231, 235, 237, 245, 246, 250, 257 solutions see agriculture; coasts; rivers; towns/cities and uplands state of assets 245–8 25 Year Environment Plan and see 25 Year Environment Plan Natural Capital Committee (NCC) xi, xii, xiii, xiv–xv, 257 Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet (Helm) xv Natural England 75, 78, 185, 191, 221, 232, 248, 257, 258, 260 Natural Resources Wales 65 Nature Act 13, 258, 259 Nature Fund 12, 202–3, 209, 219–40, 241, 249, 254, 258 adding in the avoided subsidies beyond the CAP 226–7 adding in the net environmental gain compensation payments 225–6 adding in the value of pollution taxes 222–5 budget 234–6 deciding how to spend money 239–40 designing 231–4 green bonds and 235–6 looking after future generations and 228–31 owning assets 236–8 redirecting current spending 220–2 separating spending from revenues 227 nature, love of xiv, 160, 261 neonicotinoids 4–5, 82, 83, 84, 96, 217 net environmental gain principle 7, 11, 12, 46, 54, 149, 168–9, 186, 194, 202, 206, 208, 216, 218, 219, 225–6, 235, 244, 245, 258, 265 New Forest 117 New Naturalist 42 nitrates 123, 136, 152, 216 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) 42, 130, 239 non-renewable natural capital 12, 42–3, 137, 205, 219, 228, 231, 235, 250 North Sea 1, 12, 34, 133, 135, 137, 228, 235, 251 Norway 228–9, 231, 235 obesity xiv, 24, 28, 171, 264 Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) 240 Office for National Statistics (ONS) 236, 240, 249, 257 OFWAT 75, 78 oil 3, 12, 42, 45, 136, 159, 219, 228, 231, 235 oilseed rape 5, 37, 83, 85, 86, 95, 101, 183, 198, 207 organic farming 96–7, 119, 197, 223 organochlorines 96 organophosphates 96 osprey 161 Otmoor 8 otter 40, 61 Ouse, River 31 owl xi, 85, 115, 195, 253 oxbow lakes 30, 61 Oxford–Cambridge Corridor 46 Oxford concrete canal 30–1, 220 Parish, Neil 182 parks, urban xiv, 7, 23, 25, 34, 46, 155–6, 160, 170, 185, 221, 250 Parrot, River 63 Peak District 67, 105, 123, 158 peat 22, 61, 62, 63, 67, 82, 118, 119, 124, 163, 164, 170, 189, 201, 235 Pennines 1, 47, 90, 105, 120 peregrine falcon 40, 84, 160, 161–2 pesticides xii, 21, 22, 43, 45, 65, 82, 83, 84, 95, 96, 100, 102, 124, 197, 199, 200, 201, 216, 223, 243, 244 pharmaceutical industry 43, 61, 68 pheasant 33, 101, 114–16, 119, 190 phosphates 4–5, 20, 22, 77, 96, 136, 198 Pickering, River 31 pigeon 159–60, 161 pine marten 40 Planet Earth (TV series) 3 planning 52, 54, 56, 73, 74, 75, 76, 86, 89, 117, 118, 144, 146, 157, 166, 168, 169, 207, 208, 209, 213, 245, 248 Planning Act (1947) 52, 208 plastics xii, xiv, 2, 4, 5, 17, 34, 43, 45, 56, 128, 131, 136, 150, 188, 196, 201, 244 taxing 200–1, 223, 244 pollinators 5, 6, 7, 18, 25. 84 polluter-pays principle 9, 10–11, 12, 22, 34, 56, 66, 67, 68–9, 74, 87–8, 99–100, 102, 103, 104, 114, 137, 170, 179, 195–218, 219, 220, 225, 241, 244, 245, 249, 258, 265, 266 developers, net environmental gain and 205–9 fines for pollution and 203–5 hypothecation or earmarking of revenues to specific green expenditure 202–3, 224–5 improvements that come from economics of 216–18 money raised from 202–3 Nature Fund and 202–3, 209 net gain environmental gain principle and 195, 205–9 precautionary principle and 83–4, 195 pricing 198–201 principle of 195–8 subsidies and 210–15 Poole Harbour 78, 191 population growth xii, 11, 44, 47–50, 52, 55, 58, 166, 183 Porlock Marshes, Somerset 133 potholes 24 power stations 53, 83, 109, 130, 135, 159, 186, 203 precautionary principle 11, 83–4, 142, 194, 195, 218 public goods 10, 12, 23–4, 58, 75, 92, 93, 95, 98, 99, 102, 103, 104, 112, 118, 119, 122–3, 124, 125, 126, 149, 167–8, 175–94, 195, 208, 210, 212, 217, 218, 232, 237, 241, 244, 247, 249, 258, 265, 266, 268 definition of 176–9 ecosystems and coordination 179–81 importance of, relative 181–4 Nature Fund and 232, 237 polluter-pays principle and 195, 208, 210, 212, 217–18 private interests and 189–93 public money for public goods principle 9, 103, 181–2, 189, 191, 193, 210, 217, 218, 232, 244, 247, 249, 258, 265, 266 richer and greener public spaces 193–4 spending, allocating 184–9 25 Year Environment Plan and 241, 244, 247, 249, 258 railway 3, 7, 8, 11, 17, 25, 29, 35, 37, 54, 80, 170, 206, 234 rats 146, 147, 150 Ray, River 8 Rebanks, James: The Shepherd’s Life 111 red deer 110, 112, 116 red kite 4, 21, 40, 161 red lists 18, 185 redshank 31 redstart 185 reed beds 19, 20, 72 re-introduction programs 4, 31, 108, 161, 250, 267 renewable energy 28, 37, 57, 89, 124, 135 renewable natural capital 12, 18, 28, 43, 69, 82–3, 123, 137, 140, 141, 142, 185, 195, 205, 206, 219, 228, 231, 235, 237, 245, 246, 250, 257 rewilding 2, 36, 45, 91, 106–10, 111, 119, 124, 140, 240, 267 Rhine, River 34, 136 rivers 9, 17, 264 access to 61, 169, 180, 181, 189, 191, 248 algae blooms and 196–7, 216–17, 251 biologically dead 40, 158 catchment system plan and operator 9, 74–8, 118, 190, 193, 240, 248, 259, 260, 266 climate change and 44 current spending on 220 estuaries 17, 20, 30, 74, 128, 134–5, 136, 138, 181, 186, 196, 208, 209, 215, 251, 253 eutrophication of 19, 196–7 farm pollution and 4, 5, 19–21, 22, 43–4, 61, 62, 64–6, 74, 76, 81, 85, 96, 123, 196–8, 203–4, 205, 207, 216–17, 224, 242, 248, 251 fish stocks and 138 flooding and 8, 30–1, 44, 61, 62–3, 65–6, 72–4, 75, 76, 77, 81, 181, 189, 190, 191, 192, 219, 220, 248, 253, 257, 260, 268 floodplains 61, 73–4, 77 fly life and 19, 41 housing/urban centres/roads and 72–4 industrial pollution and 19–21, 61, 67–9, 77 integrated management 7, 9, 19, 74–8, 118, 190, 193, 240, 248, 259, 260, 266 meanders 30, 61 National Parks and 118 natural capital approach to 30–2, 36, 61, 63, 76, 260, 268 Nature Fund and 220, 224–5, 240 oxbow lakes and 30, 61 polluter-pays principle and 9, 196–8, 203–4, 205, 207, 216–17 pollution of 4, 5, 19–21, 22, 43–4, 61, 62–9, 74, 76, 81, 85, 88, 96, 123, 132, 158, 181, 190, 191, 192, 196–8, 203–4, 205, 207, 216–17, 219, 220, 224, 225, 242, 244, 248, 251 public good concept and 180, 181, 185, 186, 188, 189, 190–1 recreation on 61, 73 restoring 61–78 sewage and 19–20, 23, 42, 61, 69, 76 soil erosion and 19, 191, 248 State of Nature Review and 248 upper rivers, protecting 62–3, 254–5 water abstractions from 43, 53, 61, 66, 70–1, 72, 73, 74, 75, 103, 220 water companies and see water companies water quality and 23, 28, 29, 43, 61, 63, 69–72, 158, 180, 190, 197–8, 220, 242, 253, 260 wildlife/biodiversity along 61, 97, 98, 165, 180, 189, 190, 191, 198 road verges 7, 8, 35 roads xii, xiv, 7, 8, 29, 35, 54, 215, 226 romantic art/literature 39, 91, 92 Roundup 44, 95 rowan 123 RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) 42, 133, 165, 177, 185, 220, 221, 225, 236, 239 rubbish disposal 43, 69, 128, 131, 136, 150, 204 run-off 4, 5, 22, 62, 61, 65–6, 67, 72, 73, 74, 88, 123, 132, 158, 196, 207, 216, 224, 242, 251 St Agnes 139, 146 Salisbury Plain 238 salmon 222, 37, 40, 45, 46, 61, 135, 138, 139, 144, 252 sand eels 45, 46, 138, 139 schools 34, 99, 169–70, 171, 207, 247 Scotland 22, 105, 106, 108, 114, 131, 139–40, 203 Scots pine Caledonian forests 107 Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) 65 seabirds 34, 129, 130, 137, 138–9, 140, 142, 143, 144, 146, 147, 150, 263 sea eagle 4, 161 sea walls xi, 128, 132, 134, 143, 145, 151, 186 seas 1, 2, 4, 5, 128, 250 climate and 127–8 fishing and 17, 22, 135, 136–9, 141–5, 160 pollution of 4, 6, 34, 40, 45, 56, 68, 71, 128–9, 132, 136, 158, 205 returning to good health 140–50 rising levels 63, 74, 133, 134, 253 State of Nature Review and 248 Severn: Estuary 134, 135, 209 River 31 sewage 19–20, 23, 25, 34, 40, 43, 53, 61, 68, 69, 70, 71–2, 74, 75, 76, 128, 131, 132, 136, 155, 158, 180, 196, 197, 204, 264 sheep farming 11, 21–2, 23, 33, 62–3, 64, 74, 87, 101, 106–7, 108, 110–11, 113, 119, 122, 124, 125, 183, 190, 210, 211, 217, 218, 264, 267 Sheffield City Council 8, 23, 157 shellfish 24, 128, 135, 141–2, 143, 151 Shetland 139 Shiants 139, 146 shipping 45, 46, 127, 129, 136, 147, 148, 204, 205 shooting, game 4, 33, 34, 45, 101, 106, 112–16, 119, 183, 190, 203, 204, 205, 222, 258 silage 109, 124 silt 19, 21, 32, 43, 44, 63, 65, 66, 67, 74, 81, 88, 207 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) 75, 119, 130, 181, 185, 257 skylark xi, xii slug pellets 85, 163, 170 slurry 21, 22, 64–5, 74, 179, 180, 190, 203, 204, 205, 224 snake’s head fritillaries 31 snowy owl 253 soils 133, 217, 224, 242, 245, 247, 250 carbon in 7, 184, 216, 246 erosion/degradation and restoration of xiv, 4, 6, 18, 19, 21, 25, 32–3, 39, 41, 44, 61, 62, 63, 65, 81–3, 94, 96, 103, 123, 157, 163, 184, 189, 190, 191, 198, 207, 211, 216, 248, 250, 251, 264 Solway Firth 134, 253 Somerset Levels 63, 65 South Downs 1, 105, 117 South West Coast Path 128 South West Water 63, 78, 125–6 sovereign wealth funds 12, 228–9, 231, 233, 235 species protection 18–19 State of Nature Review 248 Steart Marshes 133 Stern, Nicholas: ‘Economics of Climate Change’ 229 Stour, River 134 subsidies: bidding for 191, 192 business rates and 88, 89, 102, 213, 214 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) xii, 45, 75, 80, 88, 89, 90, 97, 102–3, 110–11, 126, 141, 191, 193, 204, 210–13, 217, 218, 220–1, 226, 232, 234, 239, 241, 243, 244, 247 Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) 142 cross-compliance and 97, 98, 251 farming xii, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 34, 45, 62–3, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 87, 88–90, 95, 97, 100, 101, 102–4, 110–11, 118, 119–20, 122, 124, 126, 139, 183, 184, 188, 191, 192, 195, 204, 205, 210–18, 219, 220–1, 226–7, 232, 234, 239, 241, 243, 244, 247, 253 fishing 22, 142, 221 flood risk insurance and 73 focusing on public rather than private goods 7, 12, 23 102, 104, 118, 167, 168, 182, 184, 188, 191, 212–13, 216–18, 232 food and 100–4, 210–13 fuel duty and 214 improvements from removing 216–18 industrial policy and infrastructure and 215 inheritance tax and 88, 89, 213–14, 217 islands and 139 land ownership and 89–90, 97, 103, 193, 212 landowner subsidies and bird killing in the uplands 119–20 National Parks and 118, 221 Nature Fund and 220–2, 226–7, 232, 239 NFU defence of 182, 183, 211 pollution and 23, 77, 195, 204, 205, 210–18 rivers and 62–3, 73, 75, 76, 78 tourism and 34 25 Year Environment Plan and 241, 243, 247, 248, 253, 258 upland sheep farming and 11, 22, 23–4, 62–3, 106, 110–11, 118, 122, 124, 126, 211, 220–1, 267 zero subsidies concept 45 Surfers Against Sewage 34, 131 Sustainable Soils Alliance 81–2 swallow xi, 3, 13, 18, 35, 37, 47, 84, 185, 187, 195, 261 sweet vernal grass 31 swift 37, 47, 161, 182, 185 Taff, River 20 tariffs 87, 88, 89, 102, 104 Tarr Steps, Exmoor 125 Taw, River 134 taxes: farming and 23, 79, 80, 88, 89, 90, 95, 100, 102, 106 housing and 52 Nature Fund and 227, 234 pollution 12, 23, 199, 200, 202, 203, 210, 213–14, 215, 217, 222–5 public goods and 178, 179 selling land for development and 168 25 Year Environment Plan and 244, 253 technology: AI (artificial intelligence) 230, 252–4, 255, 258 aides destruction of nature 5–7, 80–1 air quality and 154, 169, 254, 255 farming and 5–7, 80–1, 96, 120, 223, 253 fishing and 136, 143, 144 pollution detection and 65, 251, 253, 254, 255 renewable energy 28, 37–8, 57, 89, 124, 135 routes to a greener world through 6–7, 9, 28, 65, 230–1, 251–5 25 Year Environment Plan and 251–5, 256 waste crime detection and 205 wastewater and sewage detection 69 Thames: Estuary 134, 186, 208 Gateway 20, 134–5, 208, 226 River 8, 20, 34, 40, 74, 98, 134–5, 136, 158, 186, 192, 203–4, 220 Tideway 20, 53, 74 Thames Water 159, 203–4 Thelwall Viaduct 158 ‘The Natural Choice’ (White Paper, 2011) xii–xiii, 13, 265–6 thrush 85, 163, 164, 170 tidal lagoons 128, 135, 209 toad 35, 164 Tone, River 63 Torridge, River 134 tourism 7, 24, 34, 55 agriculture and 90–3 coasts and 127, 128, 131, 133, 139, 140, 148–50 growth of countryside/nature 90–3 Nature Fund and 232 pollution and 222 public goods and 181, 190 rivers and 73 uplands and 111, 119, 120–1, 125 towns/cities 9, 10, 20, 22–3, 24, 29, 30, 31, 34–5, 46, 50, 51, 53, 58, 85, 98, 108, 129, 152–71 air pollution and 153–4, 155, 157, 167, 254 a biodiverse and green urban environment 170–1 coastal 129 green corridors in 164–5 greener streets and roofs 157–8, 170 green spaces in, new 161–5, 170 housing and see housing link with nature 152 natural capital solutions for 154–7 Nature Fund and 221 nature/wildlife in the 158–61 outer rings/Green Belt 165–70 parks, urban xiv, 7, 23, 25, 34, 46, 155–7, 160, 170, 185, 221, 250 rivers and 20, 30, 31, 72–4 State of Nature Review and 248 water quality in 153, 155, 158 tragedy of the commons 24, 137, 175 Treasury 10, 29, 77, 188, 218, 219, 220, 223–4, 226, 227, 229, 232, 247, 267 trees 33, 156, 190, 207, 212 cutting down 8, 23, 157 flood management and 30 planting 7, 10, 35, 157, 221 towns/cities and 7, 10, 160, 162, 170 uplands and 106, 107, 110 Tresco 147 turtle dove 18, 84, 243, 250 25 Year Environment Plan xv, 12–13, 28, 94, 118, 181, 184, 188, 222, 232, 233, 240, 241–62, 265, 266, 267–8 accounting basis and metrics 245–7 Big Data, GPS, genomics and 250–5, 258 embedding/delivery body 255–61 European and global dimensions 242–3 how the bits fit together 244–5 making governments stick to 261–2 prioritising within 247–8 revising 248–50 top-down plan, why we need a 242 Two Moors Way 98 Twyford Down 208 Tyne, River 138 Tyneside 74 United Utilities 63, 78 uplands 9, 17, 19, 21–2, 29, 30, 33–4, 39, 40, 43, 45, 62, 72, 98, 104, 105–26, 185, 188, 189, 191, 214, 240, 248, 264, 266, 267, 268 access to 105–6 birds in 4, 33, 36, 40, 45, 84, 106, 113–14, 115, 116, 119–20, 123, 160, 161–2, 183, 185, 190, 203, 204, 205, 250, 258 see also individual bird type deer and 33–4, 36, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 112, 115, 116, 119, 147, 190 game shooting and 4, 33, 34, 45, 101, 106, 112–16, 119, 183, 190, 203, 204, 205, 222, 258 managing for people and wildlife 123–6 National Parks and 116–18, 121 Nature Fund and 220–1 population 120–3 public benefits in 118–20 rewilding and 106–10 rivers and 62–3, 71–2 second home owners and 121 sheep farming and 11, 21–2, 23–4, 33, 62, 106–7, 110–11, 113, 119, 122, 182, 211, 212, 217, 218, 264, 267 State of Nature Review and 248 tourism and 120–1 trees and 106, 107, 110 25 Year Environment Plan and 241, 245, 248, 257 as wildlife refuge 21–2, 118–20, 123–6 visitor charge 125 volunteers 125, 147, 149, 150 wading birds 123 Wallasea Island 133, 143 walls: green 35, 162, 165, 170, 221 maintenance of 119, 123, 124–5, 167–8 sea xi, 128, 132, 133, 134, 135, 143, 145, 151, 186 stone 31, 103, 120, 123, 124–5, 167–8, 180 water quality/cleanliness xvi, 8, 264, 268 Blue Flag system/EU Bathing Water Directive and 131–2 farm pollution and xiv, 19, 23, 43–4, 63, 65–6, 72, 78, 81, 85, 88, 190, 191 future of 28, 220, 221, 222, 225, 242, 243, 244, 246, 247, 249, 253, 258, 260, 262 improvements in 39, 41, 43–4 industrial pollution and 19–20, 68–9 Nature Fund and 219, 220, 221, 222, 225 peat bogs and 63, 78, 119, 124, 125–6 polluter-pays principle and 196, 197–8, 199, 203–4, 207, 215 public goods concept and 181, 189, 190, 191 rivers and 23, 28, 29, 43, 61, 63, 69–72, 158, 180, 190, 197–8, 220, 242, 253, 260 towns/cities and 153, 155, 158 25 Year Environment Plan and 242, 243, 244, 246, 247, 249, 253, 258, 260, 262 wastewater and 69 water companies and see water companies water companies 181 cleanliness of water and xiv, 23, 63, 68, 69–72, 78, 81, 85, 88, 125–6, 190, 191, 197–8, 203–4, 215, 219, 220, 221, 222, 225, 242, 244, 253, 258, 260 Exmoor Mires Project and 63, 78, 125–6 farm pollution and xiv, 23, 63, 78, 81, 85, 88, 125–6, 190, 191 flood defences and 192 Forest of Bowland project 63 grey water system and 71 natural capital approach to river catchment system as a whole and 75–8 Nature Fund and 219, 220, 221, 222, 225 pharmaceuticals in water and 68 polluter-pays principle and 197–8, 203–4, 215 regulation of 75, 78 sewage and 71–2 25 Year Environment Plan and 242, 244, 253, 258, 260 water abstractions and 43, 53, 61, 66, 70–1, 72, 73, 74, 75, 103, 220 water bills and 20, 23, 75, 77, 78, 88, 131–2, 191 water leakage and 25, 61, 70–1, 74 water meadows 31, 66, 79, 103 weedkillers 163, 170 Wessex Water 78, 191 West Canvey Marsh 130 West Thurrock Lagoons 130, 159 wetlands 8, 74, 133, 159, 186, 234, 236, 237 wheat 86, 101 Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust 133 wildlife corridors 4, 7, 17, 31, 97–9, 118, 129, 150, 164–5, 167, 169–70, 180, 186, 191, 234, 247, 250 Wildlife Trusts 8, 75, 76, 125, 146, 177, 185, 192, 220, 221, 225, 236, 237 Wilson, E.


pages: 467 words: 503

The omnivore's dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan

additive manufacturing, back-to-the-land, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, double entry bookkeeping, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, index card, informal economy, invention of agriculture, means of production, new economy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Whole Earth Catalog

The same recognition by Chinese scientists a few decades later is probably what compelled China's opening to the West: After Nixon's 1972 trip the first major order the Chinese government placed was for thirteen massive fertilizer factories. Without them, China would probably have starved. This is why it may not be hyperbole to claim, as Smil does, that the Haber-Bosch process (Carl Bosch gets the credit for commercializing Haber's idea) for fixing nitrogen is the most important invention of the twentieth century. He estimates that two of every five humans on earth today would not be alive if not for Fritz Haber's invention. We can easily imagine a world without computers or electricity, Smil points out, but without synthetic fertilizer billions of people would never have been born.

Yet this dualism dividing the benefactor of agriculture from the chemical weapons maker is far too pat, for even Haber's benefaction has proven decidedly to be a mixed blessing. When humankind acquired the power to fix nitrogen, the basis of soil fertility shifted from a total reliance on the energy of the sun to a new reliance on fossil fuel. For the Haber-Bosch process works by combining nitrogen and hydrogen gases under immense heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst. The heat and pressure are supplied by prodigious amounts of electricity, and the hydrogen is supplied by oil, coal, or, most commonly today, natural gas—fossil fuels. True, these fossil fuels were at one time billions of years ago created by the sun, but they are not renewable in the same way that the fertility created by a legume nourished by sunlight is.

So I guess I was wrong to suggest we don't sip fossil fuels directly; sometimes we do. It has been less than a century since Fritz Haber's invention, yet already it has changed earth's ecology More than half of the world's supply of usable nitrogen is now man-made. (Unless you grew up on organic food, most of the kilo or so of nitrogen in your body was fixed by the Haber-Bosch process.) "We have perturbed the global nitrogen cycle," Smil wrote, "more than any other, even carbon." The effects may be harder to predict than the effects of the global warming caused by our disturbance of the carbon cycle, but they may be no less momentous. The flood of synthetic nitrogen has fertilized not just the farm fields but the forests and the oceans too, to the benefit of some species (corn and algae being two of the biggest beneficiaries), and to the detriment of countless others.


pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Garrett Hardin, Haber-Bosch Process, household responsibility system, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, Tragedy of the Commons, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

But while the phosphate quarries were still producing, the supply of guano could not last forever, and in 1909 an economic process for manufacturing nitrogen fertilizers from the atmosphere was invented in 1909 by another German, Fritz Haber – a man who might have become as great a hero in the annals of science as Liebig if he hadn’t gone on to invent the gas used to kill Jews in Hitler’s concentra-tion camps.19 The Haber/Bosch process, although it creates fertilizer from thin air, is not without its costs, as it requires energy, quite a lot in fact. It takes roughly a tonne of coal to produce one tonne of sulphate of ammonia fertilizer (213 kg N – sufficient for about two hectares of wheat). The European Fertilizer Manufacturer association states that ‘of all the energy used to produce wheat ‘ including other fertilizers and all tractor use, ‘approximately 50 per cent is needed to produce, transport and apply nitrogen fertilizers.’

In the early 1960s China’s population was about 660 million, its consumption of synthetic fertilizer was negligible, and almost all its nitrogen was derived from organic sources. By 1996 the population was close to 1.2 billion, applications of synthetic nitrogen had increased more than 50 fold, and 75 per cent of all nitrogen applied to crops was synthetic, produced by the Haber/Bosch process. In the same period average per capita food consumption increased from about 2,000 calories, to 2,700; and meat consumption increased from a reported figure of 1.4 kg per year in 1961, to a widely accepted figure of around 47 kg per year in the late 1990s.38 Meanwhile, very little new agricultural land has been opened up, and in recent years the amount of arable land has shrunk, owing to urban development and desertification.

Imported chemical fertility cannot be had for nothing, and it requires the export of equivalent amounts of biomass (to the city or possibly abroad), making the rural community beholden to the industrial economy for the functioning of its primary resource. The progressive industrialization of the rural economy results in the majority of people being forced into cities, where the rewards of living close to the land are supplanted by the pressure to compete and consume. It is possible that Smil could be wrong. What would have happened if the Haber/Bosch process and all the rest of the agrochemical armoury had never been developed, either because such developments were technically impossible, or else because, in the context of a pattern of civilization that one might usefully call Sino-Luddite, they were banned? Would the world’s population have expanded as it did in Europe in the 14th century?


pages: 579 words: 164,339

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, David Attenborough, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, El Camino Real, epigenetics, Filipino sailors, Garrett Hardin, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, housing crisis, ice-free Arctic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, liberation theology, load shedding, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mahbub ul Haq, megacity, Menlo Park, Money creation, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Then, in 1913, agricultural technology broke through nature’s ceiling. Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, who figured out how to grab nitrogen out of the air and feed it to plants in quantities far beyond what von Liebig had ever imagined, were also Germans. Each would be awarded a Nobel Prize for his separate contribution to what became known as the Haber-Bosch process, which has transformed the world like no other. And each would be undone by his German nationality. Fritz Haber was born to a Prussian Hasidic Jewish merchant family in 1868. He studied chemistry under Robert Bunsen, whose eponymous burner considerably enhanced laboratory research. In 1905, while teaching at the University of Karlsruhe and researching thermodynamics, Haber discovered that by passing nitrogen and hydrogen over an iron catalyst at 1,000°C, he could produce small amounts of ammonia.

Within a few years their new artificial nutrient was already making history, as an Allied blockade cut Germany’s access to Chilean saltpeter during World War I. Not only could Germany now keep feeding itself, but ammonium sulfate could be converted into synthetic saltpeter, from which BASF was soon manufacturing gunpowder and explosives. Without the Haber-Bosch process, World War I would have been far shorter. Fritz Haber’s discovery of how to synthesize fertilizer was so enormous that a Nobel Prize in chemistry should have been no surprise. But coming in 1918 just as the war ended, it was controversial. During the war, Haber achieved the rank of captain for first proposing, and then directing, Germany’s use of chemical weapons against enemy trenches.

To allow for unforeseen consequences, which invariably accompany technologies, they proposed a 50 percent margin of error. That left 6 terawatts. From there, it was just a matter of long division. The total number of people, each using 3 kilowatts of energy apiece, that could live in a world using no more than 6 terawatts was 2 billion. Two billion was the population of the Earth in 1930, when the Haber-Bosch process had just become commercially available worldwide. Nearly everyone on Earth was still living off plants growing on sunlight, not fossil fuel. At 2 billion, the world’s population could be fed with little or no artificial fertilizer, relieving pressures on the soil, on downstream waters, and on the atmosphere: agricultural nitrogen is a major source of nitrous oxide, both a pollutant and the most potent greenhouse gas after CO2 and methane.


pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning

As important an instance of intensification as agriculture was, in many respects it pales in comparison with what has occurred within the past century or so, with the application of fossil fuels to farming. Petroleum-fed tractors replaced horses and oxen, freeing up more land to grow food for far more people. The Haber-Bosch process for synthesizing ammonia from fossil fuels, invented just prior to World War I, has doubled the amount of nitrogen available to green plants — with nearly all of that increase going directly to food crops. New hybrid plant varieties also led to higher yields. Technologies for food storage improved radically.

Campbell, Joseph carbon dioxide emissions. see also greenhouse gas emissions carbon trading Carlowitz, Hanns Carl von cars Carter, Jimmy “Century of Self ” (Curtis) China CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) cities civilization (see also industrialization): basis of; development; and emergent phenomena, garbage from; v. wild societies climate Climate Change (see also psychology of peak oil/climate change; techno-collapse): after techno-collapse; benefits of cooperation with Peak Oil; from burning fossil fuels (see also greenhouse gas emissions); concerted campaign for; conflict with Peak Oil; consequences of; experts in; peak levels of; possible strategies for; psychological theories on; scientific agreement on; strategies for psychologically coping with Clinton, Bill coal: “clean,” future role; and greenhouse gases; production levels Cold War The Collapse of Complex Societies (Tainter) Colodzin, Benjamin community building computers conures Cornwall, England corporations Crane, Walter CTL (coal-to-liquids) Cuba’s Special Period culture, preservation of. see also arts, preservation of currency collapse Curtis, Adam D Damasio, Antonio democracy design: industrial; and industrialized society; in a techno-collapsed world developing countries Diamond, Jared Diamond, Stanley dignity E Earth Day economic inequality economics: after techno-collapse; free market; of future agriculture; and idea of steady growth- and industrial revolution education egalitarianism Ehrlich, Paul emergent phenomena energy. see also alternative energy sources; fossil fuels; non-renewable resources Energy and Equity (Illich) environmental damage (see also Climate Change): after techno-collapse; from agriculture; by invasive species; and language barrier environmental movement EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) ethanol Ewen, Stuart ExxonMobil F famine: in early history; prediction of feedback loops, reinforcing fish harvests food production (see also agriculture): after techno-collapse; as key to human society; and Malthus; in pre-history; and rationing; in US; and use of fossil fuels forests fossil fuels (see also coal; natural gas; oil; tar sands): and agriculture; and concentrations of greenhouse gases (see also greenhouse gas emissions); consequences of continuing use of; earliest technology run on; and feedback loops; future of; and hippie aesthetic- and industrial revolution; and level of happiness; modern problems connected to; and modern technology; predictions on how long they will last; scenarios of running out of; strategies for dealing with depletion of; substitutes for Fostering Sustainable Behavior (MacKenzie-Mohr and Smith) France Frank, Justin Freud, Sigmund G Gage, Phineas GDP (Gross Domestic Product) generation gap genetic engineering genetically modified crops Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Gini index Glendinning, Chellis global warming. see also Climate Change Gore, Al government: after techno-collapse; and beginnings of political organization; and democracy; environmental legislation; and language; reaction to disaster; reaction to Peak Oil; and sustainability measures GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator) grain Great Britain The Greatest Generation (Brokaw) greenhouse gas emissions: from coal; concentrations by source; from fossil fuels; how much they need to be reduced; peak levels; strategies for reducing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth v. sustainability H Haber-Bosch process Hansen, James happiness Harris, Marvin Hawkins, Louis W. Heather, Peter heavy oil Herman, Judith hippies Hirsch, Robert Holmgren, David Hopkins, Rob horticulture Hubbard, Elbert Hubbert, M. King Huebner, Jonathan human rights Human Scale (Sale) hydrocarbons. see fossil fuels I ideological changes: away from fossil fuels; away from industrialization; from perpetual growth to sustainability; role of language in Illich, Ivan An Inconvenient Truth (Gore) Indian Line Farm industrial design industrialization (see also fossil fuels; techno-collapse): adapted to disasters; and crafts; history of; how it’s changed humans; and industrial revolution; modern criticism of; plan for de-industrialization; as savior; weeding ourselves off inventions Iroquois Irving, Judy J Jackson, Wes Jeavons, John K Kelly, R.


pages: 262 words: 66,800

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

The problem was that he could only do it on a very small scale. There were no large containers that functioned at the temperatures and pressures needed. A colleague at BASF, Carl Bosch, carried out over 20,000 experiments in over twenty reactors before he came up with the right process to synthesize ammonia on an industrial scale. The Haber-Bosch Process made artificial fertilizer cheap and abundant, and soon it was used all over the world. ‘What has been the most important technical invention of the twentieth century?’ asks Vaclav Smil in Enriching the Earth. He rejects suggestions like computers and aeroplanes, going on to explain that nothing has been as important as the industrial fixing of nitrogen: ‘the single most important change affecting the world’s population – its expansion from 1.6 billion people in 1900 to today’s six billion – would not have been possible without the synthesis of ammonia.’

He rejects suggestions like computers and aeroplanes, going on to explain that nothing has been as important as the industrial fixing of nitrogen: ‘the single most important change affecting the world’s population – its expansion from 1.6 billion people in 1900 to today’s six billion – would not have been possible without the synthesis of ammonia.’ Without the Haber-Bosch Process about two-fifths of the world population would not exist at all, Smil claims.17 Sadly, Fritz Haber’s brilliant mind was also put to the task of killing. He was a pioneer in chemical warfare and developed chlorine gas for the German troops to use against enemy forces. He directed the first release of fatal gas himself on 22 April 1915, at the Second Battle of Ypres.


pages: 421 words: 125,417

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Garrett Hardin, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, impact investing, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

Between 1908 and 1914, a group of industrial scientists, led by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, developed a way to use energy (natural gas and to a lesser extent hydropower) to convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into nitrogen-based compounds, such as urea, which provide nutrients to plants. The invention of the Haber-Bosch process for synthesizing nitrogen-based chemical fertilizers not only created a vast global industry but also created the biological possibility of a massive expansion of the world’s food supplies. The limiting factor of soil nitrogen had been overcome. Energy, and specifically fossil fuel, had set free the human population. Technology historian Vaclav Smil estimates that the Haber-Bosch process stands behind 80 percent of the increase of cereal production in the twentieth century. The most important result was an explosion of human population, which on average was also better fed.

The process of converting atmospheric nitrogen to active nitrogen is called nitrogen fixation. The problem today is that the natural fixation processes are too slow to provide the vast stores of nitrogen needed to grow food crops sufficient to feed the 6.6 billion people on the planet, much less the 7 to 9 billion the world will have by midcentury. That’s where the Haber-Bosch process came in at the start of the twentieth century. And in addition to chemical fertilizers, farmers also abet the natural cycle by planting leguminous crops such as alfafa and soybeans, which have root systems that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria. As Figure 3.3 indicates, the amount of nitrogen fixed by chemical fertilizers and human crop choice is now around 60 percent of the Earth’s total nitrogen fixation.


pages: 271 words: 79,367

The Switch: How Solar, Storage and New Tech Means Cheap Power for All by Chris Goodall

3D printing, additive manufacturing, decarbonisation, demand response, Elon Musk, energy transition, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, M-Pesa, Negawatt, off grid, Peter Thiel, Russell Ohl, smart meter, standardized shipping container, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons

But the amount of hydrogen contained in these chemicals is also small, expressed either in terms of volume or of weight. The problems of energy density and possible safety issues could in theory be avoided by using hydrogen chemically combined with nitrogen in the form of ammonia (NH3). Making ammonia is well understood and because it has been the basis of artificial fertilisers using the Haber Bosch process for over a hundred years, manufacturing technologies are mature and relatively inexpensive. Unlike pure hydrogen, ammonia becomes liquid at relatively low pressures and can be used in conventional internal combustion engines, usually with a small amount of carbon-based fuel for better burning.

Index A Abramovitz, Yosef 64 absorption chilling 146 acetogens 242–3 Actinomyces 215 Africa food production 134 solar power 60–4 see also individual countries AGL 7 agriculture pumping operations 56–7 UK 226–7 Ainsworth, David 197–8, 199 air, carbon capture 249–54 air travel 224–5 algae 244–5 Algenol 245–6 alkanes 223 aluminium 108 American Physical Society 252 amine absorption 250 ammonia 229–30 anaerobic digestion (AD) 5, 131, 132, 135–41 Andasol 117 Andhra Pradesh 54 Apple 66, 67, 108 Arcelor Mittal 155, 243 archaea 234–5 Argonne National Laboratory 194 Arriba 154 artificial photosynthesis 246–9 asphalt 153 Atacama desert 59 Audi 232 Austin, Texas 53 Australia domestic electricity consumption 260 tracking 96 B bacteria 247–9 Bangladesh 16–17 banks funding solar 105, 106–7 interest rates 98–100 solar power predictions 50–1 batteries 5–6, 173, 240 car batteries 190–2 cost declines 44, 173, 176–9, 256 and demand charges 192–3 domestic 57, 171, 181–5 drones 185–7 flow batteries 174, 201–3, 206 grid storage 44, 187–90, 206–7, 219–20 lithium air 198–9 lithium ion 173–96, 199–201, 210 lithium sulphur 197–8 long term targets 194–5 PV plus battery 199–201 and time-of-use-pricing 162 24M 179–80 zinc-air batteries 201, 203–4 Becquerel, Edmond 74 behind the meter schemes 107, 108 Belgium demand response 152 liquid hydrocarbons 243 Bickl, Thomas 85, 86–90 biochar 225 biofuels see liquid fuels biogas Electrochaea 233–6 Tropical Power 134–41 see also carbon dioxide; methane biological methanation 233–8 biomass 13, 14, 15, 131–4, 142–6, 256 power to gas 233–8, 240 storing liquid hydrocarbons 220, 221–7 Tropical Power 135–42 Bishop, Pete 185–9 Bissell, David 200 Bloch, Mathias 181–2 Bloomberg 35, 42, 53, 60, 178 blue-green algae 244–5 Boardman, Brenda 164–5 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 18, 19, 20, 176, 177, 178–9 BP 12–13 Bradford, Travis 22, 48–50 Brandao, Rafael 60 Brazil biofuels 223 pylon lines 120 solar electricity prices 3, 60 Breakthrough Energy Coalition 214, 244 Britwind 130–1 Bruce, Peter 198–9 Buffett, Warren 177 Burundi 64 Butler, Nick 41–2, 44 BYD 176–7 C Calgary 253 California demand response 156–8 domestic electricity storage 184 grid storage 201 power to gas 233 renewable energy 35 solar power cost 3 time-of-use-pricing 162, 163 CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) plants 135–41, 142–5 Cambridge Architectural Research 166 Canada air capture of CO2 253 demand response 154 grid batteries 202 time-of-use-pricing 159 carbon dioxide (CO2) air capture 213, 249–54 artificial photosynthesis 248 cement plants 238–40 diesel generators 149 and microbes 213, 215 plants 133, 135, 137 power to gas 232, 233 using to make liquid hydrocarbons 241, 243, 244–5, 246, 256 Carbon Engineering 253 carbon monoxide 241–2, 243 carbon tax 239, 253 cars component manufacturers 127–8 energy usage 11 hydrogen 228 PV film 89–90 see also electric cars Case, Chris 68–71, 73–4, 79–83 cement factories 238–40, 245 Chiang, Yet-Ming 179–80 Chile concentrating solar power 119 pylon lines 120 solar electricity prices 3 solar power 59–60 China coal-fired power stations 35 energy demand 11, 12 liquid hydrocarbons 243 solar power 24, 53–4, 66 and Zimbabwe 64 Chu, Steven 230 CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) 90 Citibank 51 Climeworks 250–3 Clinton, Hillary 54 Clostridium Autoethanogenum 242–3 coal 40 Germany 46 Nigeria 60–1 coal-fired power stations Chile 59 China 11, 35 cost 122 demand 36–7 in developing world 58 India 55, 56, 58 move away from 7 Coal India Limited 58 Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plants 34–5, 37, 39, 40, 236 Committee on Climate Change (CCC) 47–8 compound growth 30–1 compressed air storage 207–8 concentrating solar power (CSP) 116, 117–21, 256 Connolly, Steve 154 conversion efficiency 73, 76–7, 78–9, 80 Cook, Tim 67 Cool Planet 225–6, 241 Cornwall 104–5, 206 cows 139–40 Crabtree, George 194, 195 Crescent Dunes 118 cyanobacteria 244–5 D demand charges 192–3 demand response 149–55, 166, 232, 237–8 and energy efficiency 163 in the home 156–8 what happens next 158–63 Denmark power to gas 233–4, 235 solar electricity costs 45 wind power 116, 124, 234 Deutsche Bank 51, 59, 176 diesel generators 57, 60, 121, 185, 199 demand response 148–9, 151 Hawaii 161, 199 Dinorwig 205 dispatchable power 199–200 Drax power station 131, 132 drones 185–7 Dubai 52 E Easter Island 133 Easton, Roger L 2 Einstein, Albert 75 Eisenberger, Peter 3, 19–20 electric cars 12, 156, 158, 224–5 batteries 173–8, 195 as grid backup 190–2 electricity 255 cutting power demand in the home 156–8 demand and supply 4, 5, 37–9, 147, 150–1, 215, 216–20 demand charges 192–3 demand response 149–55, 158–63, 166, 232, 237–8 distribution costs 55 domestic consumption 259–60 lighting 164–6 microgrids 62–3 power to gas 231–40 prices 37–8, 107, 257 storage 4–6, 43, 44, 173–254 time-of-use-pricing 158–63 transmission networks 58, 59, 61 see also solar power Electrochaea 233–40 electrolysis 220, 227–30, 231–40, 252–3 electrons 74–6, 78–9, 201 Enbala 154 Energiesprong 167–71 energy demand for 9–13, 144 and power 259–60 energy efficiency and demand response 163 insulation 167–72 lighting 165–6 Engie 7 Enterococcus 215 Entrade 145–6 Eos 203–4 EPR 15 ethanol 223, 243–5 Euphorbia Tirucalli 135, 137 experience curve 18–19, 33 batteries 175, 176–9, 187, 210 inverters 97 photovoltaics 22, 26, 30–1, 33 transistors 31–2 wind power 123 Exxon 3, 19–20 F Facebook 185–7 Farmer, Doyne 33 Fischer-Tropsch process 223, 252 Florida 245–6 flow batteries 174, 201–3, 206 food 132–4 Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) 142–3 fossil fuels 27–9, 33–40 see also coal; gas; oil France demand response 152, 155 gas grid 231–2 nuclear power 23 Fraunhofer Institute 3–4, 46–7, 104 Fritts, Charles 74 fullerene 72 G gas 7, 40 grid 231–2 power to gas 6, 213–15, 231–40 see also biogas; methane; syngas gas-fired power stations 150–1 ammonia 229 cost 4, 122 financing 34–5, 36–7, 39, 40, 99 power to gas 236, 238 US 35 gasification 132, 145–6 Gates, Bill 1, 6, 208, 214–15, 244, 255 Gebald, Christoph 252, 253 gene sequencing 18–19 geothermal 59, 108 Germany domestic electricity storage 181–5 electricity demand and supply 215, 217, 218–20, 229–30, 237 electricity price 101, 260 electricity production 260 gas grid 228–9, 231–2 hydrogen 228–9 oil storage 230 power to gas 232 solar power cost 3–4, 46–7 solar power funding 104, 106, 107 wind power 124 Ghent 243 gigawatt hours 260 gigawatts 259, 260 GM 176–7, 198 Google 66, 225 governments 6, 189 solar power tenders 51–3, 54–5, 59, 60 subsidies 50, 107–8, 126 GranBio 223 graphene 187 Greencoat Capital 109 grid integration costs 55–6 grid storage flow and zinc-air batteries 201–4 pumped hydro 205–7 PV plus battery 199–201 South Korea 204 GTM Research 96–7, 193, 201 H Haber Bosch process 229 Hafenbradl, Doris 238–9 Handelsbanken 105 Hawaii 161–2, 184, 199–201 heat pumps 12, 167 heating 12, 167 Heliatek 84–90 Helio100 120–1 heliostats 117–18 Henderson, Bruce 18, 20 Highview Power 208–10 Hinwil 250–1 Hinkley Point 15 Hofstetter, Dominic 233–6 hospitals 148, 149 houses batteries 57, 181–5 heating 12, 167 insulation 167–72 lighting 12, 164–6, 169 Solar House 57–8 see also residential PV installations Hutcheson, Dan 32 hydro-electric power 14, 15, 141–2, 159 pumped hydro 204–7 hydrogen 5, 213–15 conversion to methane 221, 231–40, 256 using electrolysis to generate 212, 220, 227–31, 252–3, 256 Hydrogenics 235 Hymind floating turbines 125–6 I Ibbenbeuren 229 Iceland 108 IKEA 19, 66, 166 Imergy 202 India coal-fired power stations 55–6, 58 solar electricity prices 3 Solar Houses 57–8 solar power 24, 53–8 insulation 167–72 Intel 20 interest rates 98–100, 101–2 International Energy Agency (IEA) 42–3, 45–6 inverters 91–5, 96, 97 investment 4, 100–14, 115, 214 corporate 66–7, 108 Investment and Pensions Europe 102 ITM Power 228–9 J Jelley, Nick 25 Joule Unlimited 244–5 K Kaua’i 199–200 Keith, David 253 Kennedy, Danny 42 Kenya 62–4, 145 Tropical Power 134–42 kilowatt hours 259 kilowatts 259–60 Kisii 62–3 Kiwi Power 149 Klein, Nina 71–3, 74, 85–6 Kohn, Rick 213, 215, 246 KPMG 54–7 L Lafond, Francois 33 Laikipia 135–41 Lancashire County Council 102, 103 Lanzatech 241–4 Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) 46, 65 lead 83 learning curve 19, 23 LEDs 165–6, 169 Leggett, Jeremy 50 Lemnacae 139 levelised cost 98–101 LeVine, Steve 180 Liebreich, Michael 178 lighting 12, 164–6, 169 Lightsail 207–8 lignite 46 liquid air storage 208–10 liquid fuels 5, 6, 213–15 from biomass 220, 221–7 using microbes 221, 240–6, 256–7 lithium air batteries 198–9 lithium ion batteries 173–6, 192–5, 210 car batteries 190–2 cost declines 176–9 domestic 181–5 energy density 195 large-scale 185–90, 199–201 lithium supply 195–6 recycling 195, 196 24M 179–80 lithium sulphur batteries 197–8 Louisiana 226 M M-Pesa 63 MacKay, David 259 Madhya Pradesh 54 Manchester 39, 209 Mason, Mike 137–42, 143, 144 megawatts 259 Mermans, Pieter-Jan 38, 149–53, 155 Meteo 91 methane 131, 135, 137, 213–16 power to gas 221, 231–40, 256 methyl ammonium lead halides 80 microbes 212–15 artificial photosynthesis 247–9 making liquid hydrocarbons 221, 240–6, 256 power to gas 233–40 microgrids 62–3 mobile phones 61–2, 63–4, 185 Modi, Narendra 53 Monbiot, George 226 Moody’s 173, 193 Moore, Gordon 20 Moore’s Law 20–1, 32 Morocco 116, 119–20 Moylan, Andy 111–13 multi-junction cells 76–7 Musk, Elon 175 N Naam, Ramez 49–50 Nelson, Jenny 75 Netherlands home improvements 169, 170–1 storage in car batteries 191 Nevada 53, 118 New Mexico 244–5 NexWafe 78, 79 Nigeria 60–2 Nissan 176 Nissan LEAF 156 Nourse, Richard 109, 122 nuclear power stations 6, 15 costs 22–3, 48, 122 O Oahu 161–2 O’Dea, Christopher 103 offshore wind turbines 15, 124–6 Ohl, Russell 75 OhmConnect 156–8 oil, storage 230, 240–1 oil companies 6, 7–8 oligomer cells 84–90 onshore wind turbines 22, 122–5 Ontario 159, 202 Open Energi 153 Opuntia ficus-indica 135, 136, 138 Oregon 7, 223–4, 225 organic molecules 71–3, 74 organic photovoltaics 84–90 Osinbajo, Yemi 60–1 Ouarzazate 119 oversizing 91–5 Oxford Photovoltaics 68, 79–84 Oxis 197–8, 240 oxygen 234 P Palmer, Jason 166 Panasonic 175, 187–9 paper mills 152 passivation 78–9 Peabody Energy 40 peak shaving 193 see also time-of-use-pricing Pencil Cactus 135, 137 pension funds 4, 101–4, 106–7, 109–11, 112 pentacene 71 perovskites 68, 79–84 Peterhead 125–6 petrol 240 photons 74–5 photosynthesis artificial 246–9 CAM plants 135–7 photovoltaics, electricity prices 3, 45, 46, 51–3, 59, 60 photovoltaics (PV) 5–6, 8, 42–3, 74–6, 116, 255–8 and alternative sources of energy 33–40 availability 34, 55–6, 94–5, 211–12 Brazil 60 Burundi 64 capital and levelised costs 98–101 Chile 59–60 corporate investment 65–7 cost declines 1, 2–4, 21–33, 42, 45, 46–51, 123–4, 254 daily curve 90–6, 147, 260–1 experience curve 22, 26, 30–33 films 84–90 financing 4, 98–114 Germany 217, 218–20 grid integration costs 56 India 53–8 Kenya 62–4 Nigeria 60–2 oversizing 91–5 and pension funds 101–4 predictions 41–51 PV plus battery 199–201 S curve 25–6 system costs 96–7 and time-of-use-pricing 160–3 UK 215, 216–17 USA 65 Vanguard 1 2 Zimbabwe 64 see also solar cells; solar farms; solar panels PJM 155, 200–1 plants see biomass potassium hydroxide 253 power 259–60 power purchase agreements (PPAs) 51–3, 65, 101 power to gas (P2G) 231–40, 256 Powerhive East Africa Ltd 62–3 PowerOasis 185–90 Preqin 111–13 Prickly Pear 135, 136, 138 Primus Power 199 private electricity generators 148–9 pumped hydro 204–7 Punjab 54 pyrolysis 225–6 Q quantum dots 73 Quarry Battery 205–7 R Raizen 223 Red Rock Biofuels 223–4, 225, 241 renewable energy 13–15 see also geothermal; hydro-electric power; solar power; wind power residential PV installations investment 66, 100–1, 107, 110–11 PV film 89 storage 181–5 system costs 96–7 REstore 38–9, 149–55, 158 Robertson, Andrew 103, 112 Rombouts, Jan-Willem 151, 152 Roulstone, Tony 23 Rudd, Amber 40 Russia 226 S S curve 25–6 Sabatier reaction 231 Sainsbury’s 66 Schellnhuber, John 41 Schmickler, Arno 168, 170, 171 Schneider Electric 157–8 Scotland carbon-neutral housing 171 drones 186–7 wind power 122 seawater 245–6 second glass problem 43 second half of the chessboard problem 30–1 semiconductors 18 Sermol, Peter 110–11 sewage farms 154 Shao, Vic 193 Shell 7–8, 41, 43, 223 Siemens 235, 243 silicon 68, 73, 75, 76, 84, 87–8, 195 efficiency 78–9 manufacturing techniques 77–9 tandem cells 81–4 Silicor 108 smart meters 157, 159 Smil, Vaclav 255, 257 Snaith, Henry 80, 81 SoCalGas 233 solar cells 69–70 efficiency 74–7, 78–9 from organic molecules 71–3 history 74–6 multi-junction 76–7 oligomers 84–90 passivation 78–9 perovskite 79–84 silicon 76 solar energy 9–10 solar farms Brazil 60 China 66 costs 48–51, 97 electricity prices 3, 45, 46, 51–3, 54, 55, 59, 60 financing 4, 66, 98–114 and hydro-electric dams 141–2 India 54, 55, 57 land needed for 15–18 oversizing 91–5 shading 141 tracking 95–6 US 3 Zimbabwe 64 solar fuels 213–15 Solar Houses 57–8 solar panels Chris Case 68–71, 73–4 cost declines 4, 21–2, 23–4, 49, 73–4, 77–9 daily curve 260–1 efficiency 76–7 history 74–6 lifetime of 114–15 manufacturing volumes 24 organic molecules 71–3 oversizing 91–5 perovskites 68, 79–84 technology improvements 68–97 tracking 91, 95–6 see also solar cells solar power 1–8, 13–14 concentrating solar power 117–21 see also photovoltaics SolarCity 66, 199 SolarReserve 119 Solexel 78, 79 Sonnen 181–5 Sony 179 South Africa blackouts 183 concentrating solar power 119–21 Fischer-Tropsch refineries 223 tracking 96 South Korea 204 Spain 117, 120 Spinetic 127–30 Sporomusa Ovata 247–8 Statoil 125–6 steelworks 242, 243–4, 245 Stellenbosch University 120 storage 4–6, 13, 43, 44, 94, 104, 116, 173, 210 air capture of CO2 249–54 artificial photosynthesis 246–9 compressed and liquid air storage 207–10 concentrating solar power 117–19, 121 as gas or liquids 220–54, 256–7 methane 135 need for long-term storage 216–20 pumped hydro 204–7 and time-of-use-pricing 162 see also batteries subsidies 50, 107–8, 126 SunEdison 54 SunShot 65 Swanson’s Law 21–2, 23–4 Switzerland 250–1 syngas 145, 223–4, 225, 252 system costs 96–7 T Taiwan 243 tandem cells 81–4 Tarmac 153 Telangana 54 terawatt hours 259, 260 terawatts 259 Tesla 127, 175 batteries 5, 176, 177, 178 Gigafactory 175–6, 177, 180 Powerall 162, 175, 181 Texas 123 Thiel, Peter 8, 208 time-of-use-pricing 158–63 tracking 91, 95–6 transistors 20–1, 31–2 trees see biomass Trina Solar 79, 115 Tropical Power 134–42, 145 24M 179–80 U UK biogas 236 biomass 145–6 daily solar power curve 260–1 demand response 152, 153, 154 electricity demand and supply 148, 164–5, 215, 216–18, 237 electricity price 4, 37–8, 101, 260 Energiesprong 170, 171 energy use 11–12 fossil fuel generation demand 36–7 funding 102–7, 108–10 gas-fired power stations 39 government bonds 101–2 insulation 167 land use 16, 17, 226–7 liquid air storage 208–10 nuclear power stations 23 oil storage 230, 240–1 pension funds 102–4, 106–7, 108–10 pumped hydro 205–7 seasonal deficit 211–12 solar costs 45, 47–8, 52 solar power 24, 36 subsidies 50, 108 time-of-use-pricing 159–60, 162 utility companies 7 willow coppicing 136 wind power 4, 15, 122–3, 124, 125–6, 130 Unilever 66, 108 United States (US) batteries 194, 240 biomass refining 223–4, 225–6 blackouts 183 demand charges 193 demand response 155, 156–8 domestic electricity consumption 260 domestic electricity storage 184 electricity price 3, 52–3 energy demand 11 gas-fired power stations 35, 40 government bonds 101–2 land use 17–18 large-scale grid storage 199–201 power to gas 232–3 solar power 24, 33, 54, 65 system costs 97 time-of-use-pricing 161–2 tracking 96 utility companies 7 wind power 33, 122, 123 United States Geological Service (USGS) 196 University of California, Berkeley 247–8 University of Dresden 84 University of New South Wales 79 utility companies 6, 7, 34–6 Utrecht 191 V van Beurden, Ben 41, 43, 258 vanadium 202–3 Vanguard 1 2 vertical wind turbines 127–30 W Wadebridge 160–1 Wales 226–7 Walmart 66, 67, 108 waste water treatment plants demand response 154 power to gas 233, 234–5 wave power 13, 14 weather forecasting 91, 141, 183 Weil, Bill 105–9 Werlte 232 West Country Renewables 104–5 Westmill Solar 102, 103 Williams, Gage 104–5, 106 Willis, Kathy 142 willow coppicing 136 wind power 5, 13, 14–15, 53, 116, 122–6, 256 Chile 59 cost declines 22 Denmark 116, 124, 234 Germany 124, 217, 218–20 UK 215, 216–17, 237 US 33 wind turbines 4, 123–5 Britwind 130–1 Hymind floating turbine 125–6 Spinetic 126–31 vertical turbines 127–30 wood 131, 132 see also biomass Wright, T.P. 19 Y Yang, Peidong 248–9 Z Zimbabwe, solar power 64 zinc-air batteries 201, 203–4 Zurich Federal Institute of Technology 250 ALSO AVAILABLE FROM PROFILE BOOKS Where Do Camels Belong?


pages: 273 words: 93,419

Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton

Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, the built environment, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

Nor was much thought given to the impact of the car on city planning, on public transportation and on air quality.21 A study in the early 1990s estimated that the social costs (not including the costs of global warming) of driving in the United States amounted to $300 billion per year.22 Arguably there were no sectors of the economy where the petrochemical industry had a greater impact than agriculture and transportation. It has been claimed that the Haber–Bosch process for fixing nitrogen was the most important invention of the twentieth century.23 This may seem like a most surprising claim since most people have never heard of this process. But when Haber invented the process in 1909, it was the first commercially important synthesis of nitrogen out of natural gas.

Coli 115 ecology 6–7, 24, 148, 161, 219 see also environment Ecuador 138 election campaigns (US) 185–6 El Salvador 159 empty calories 3, 5, 94 see also junk food enclosures of commons 12, 21 England 31, 44, 54 environment 152, 146–65 environmental costs 61, 148, 183 environmental debt 147 environmental degradation 61, 147, 151 environmental regulations 45 see also ecology Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 137, 151, 159, 192 equality x, 197 see also inequality erosion 157 ethanol 5, 15, 23, 107, 135, 147, 150–2, 154, 189, 212 Everglades 45, 100–1, 171, 216 exercise 104 export-oriented agriculture 125, 134–6, 141 externalities xii, 28, 208 see also social costs extinction 156 extreme weather 35, 153, 156, 158 F Factory Acts 31 factory farms 19, 29, 36, 150, 157 see also agriculture fair trade 204 254 INDEX family farms 8, 18, 19, 25, 42, 45, 49, 59, 69, 82, 83, 120, 123, 128–30, 138, 140–1, 144, 203 see also agriculture farm income 128–30 fashion 69 fast food 32, 92, 97–8, 109, 120 fast food chains 133, 120–2 feedlots 103 see also confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) field workers 126–8 Fiji Islands 176 fish 160 flourishing 6 food 10 food additives 63, 113 food aid 108 food crisis ix, x, 89 food disparagement laws 189 food inspection 112, 189 food prices ix, 5, 23, 41, 88, 108, 129, 135, 141–2, 150, 152, 187, 204 see also hunger, starvation, structural adjustment policies, subsidies food provisioning 164 food pyramid 188 food regime/system 6 food safety 189 food security 153 see also food prices, hunger, starvation, structural adjustment policies, subsidies food sovereignty 204 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ix, 89, 97, 153, 188 forced labour 124, 127 see also slavery fossil fuel 148, 151, 155 see also coal, petroleum Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 187 Frank Statement 191–2 freedom 47, 189 see also rights French revolution 2 G General Marshall 182 General Pershing 182 genetically modified organisms (GMOs) 118–19, 147, 161–3, 193 Bt crops 162 Roundup ready crops 162 global warming xi, 4, 5, 35, 147, 150, 154–6, 159, 179, 218 globalization 43–6, 71 glyposate 118–19 see also Roundup golden age 13, 52, 53 Gore, Al 100 government 183 government regulation 168, 193, 206 grain crops 155 green house gas emissions 142, 146, 148, 151, 155, 157 Greenland ice sheet 154 green revolution 58, 61, 115, 118, 124, 135, 149 green tobacco sickness 220 group of eight xii guaranteed annual income 35, 205, 210 guest workers 127, 140 H Haber–Bosch process 57 Haiti 128 Hammer, Armand 63 health 6, 16, 81, 92–4, 144, 174, 190–1, 210 high blood pressure 109 high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) 96, 101 historical analysis 13 historical directionality 12 homogenization 24, 33–7, 66 see also monoculture, species loss human flourishing 213 INDEX human rights 132 human right to food 197 see also rights Human Rights Watch 131, 138–9 hunger 4, 80, 89, 91, 105–8, 158, 204 see also starvation I identity 6, 10 island identity 46–7 see also subjectivity, individualism, possessive individualism ideology 74–5, 168, 182, 196 see also capitalist ideology illegal drugs 141 immigrant labour 40, 124, 126 see also guest workers, undocumented workers India 142 Indian Ocean 158 indifference to use-value 28, 29, 77 see also quality versus quantity individualism 26, 73–4, 166, 168, 170, 179 Indonesia 142, 155 industrial reserve army 39 inelasticity 24 inequality 8, 72, 134, 152, 180, 184, 194, 213 see also equality, poverty, poverty line, wages inner logic 12 see also abstract theory, deep structure/cause, pure capitalism intensification 30, 131 see also speed international cooperation 204, 207, 211 see also movements International Monetary Fund (IMF) 134 invisible hand 11 irrationality x, xi, 6, 29, 195, 202, 207 see also contradiction, rationality irrigation 157 255 Ivory Coast 138, 202 J jobs 126 job security 125–6 job turnover 131, 133 Joe Camel 171 Johnson, President L.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Garrett Hardin, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Tragedy of the Commons, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

Bosch and his colleague Friedrich Bergius won theirs in 1931 for “chemical high pressure methods.” Today, the Haber-Bosch process for producing fertilizer is so fundamental to human enterprise that, according to the energy analyst and author Ramez Naam, it uses about 1 percent of the world’s industrial energy. Is that energy well spent? Absolutely. Vaclav Smil, a prodigious scholar of humanity’s relationship with our planet, estimates that “the prevailing diets of 45 percent of the world’s population” depend on the Haber-Bosch process. Author Charles Mann writes, “More than three billion men, women, and children—an incomprehensively vast cloud of dreams, fears, and explorations—owe their existence to two early-twentieth-century German chemists.”


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

Guatemala used to earn quite a lot of money by being the main producer of cochineal (cochinilla), the crimson dye favoured by the Pope and the European royalties for their robes, until the invention of the artificial dye alizarin crimson. The Chilean economy was plunged into years of crisis when the Haber–Bosch process was developed in the early twentieth century to manufacture chemical substitutes for saltpetre (nitrate), the country’s main export at the time. Changes in technologies are at the root of economic development Not so long ago, if someone could command a thousand horses at the same time, carry hundreds of books in his pocket, generate intense heat without any flame, turn thousands of litres of seawater into freshwater or make clothes out of stone, people would have said he was a magician.

., graphene) and nano-technologies are emerging to transform the world yet again. In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, new technologies were often developed by individual visionaries. As a result, until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many technologies were known by their inventors’ names – Kay’s flying shuttle, Watt’s steam engine, the Haber–Bosch process and so on. From the late nineteenth century, with technologies becoming increasingly complex, fewer and fewer of them have been invented by individuals. Companies started developing the capability to generate new technologies through R&D in their corporate labs. Around this time, governments also started investing actively in developing new technologies by either establishing public research labs (especially in agriculture) or subsidizing private-sector R&D activities.


pages: 515 words: 117,501

Miracle Cure by William Rosen

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, biofilm, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, creative destruction, demographic transition, discovery of penicillin, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, functional fixedness, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, Haber-Bosch Process, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, meta-analysis, microbiome, New Journalism, obamacare, out of africa, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, stem cell, transcontinental railway, working poor

Farben was the largest chemical company in the world, and one of the largest of any sort, comparable in size to American companies like General Motors or U.S. Steel, with interests not only in dyes, but in photographic film, industrial solvents, and, with the acquisition of BASF, fertilizers. Bosch had developed a method for synthesizing ammonia—the Haber-Bosch process, the discovery of which would produce two separate Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, one for Fritz Haber in 1918, the other for Carl Bosch in 1931—that today produces 150 million metric tons of fertilizer annually and is responsible for feeding nearly half of the world’s population. Most relevantly for Domagk, I.

., 277 Graebe, Carl, 46 Gram, Hans Christian, 94 gramicidin, 190–91, 235 gram-negative pathogens, 94, 181, 192, 194, 217, 218, 237, 244, 298 gram-positive pathogens, 94, 174, 175, 190, 194n, 198, 217, 218, 224, 238, 244 Graunt, John, 14 gray baby syndrome, 259–62 Gregg, Alan, 132, 133 Gregory, James, 143 Grimm, Wilhelm and Jakob, 39n, 181 Gross, Walter, 60, 62 guaiacum, 56 Guérin, Camille, 189 HAART, 293, 294 Haber, Fritz, 62 Haber-Bosch process, 63 Haemophilus influenzae, 6, 298 Hanson, Timothy, 214 Harben Lectures, 39 Harper, Robert N., 74 Harris, Oren, 284 Harrison, Ross, 133 Harrop, George A., 153 Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance (HWPAR), 303–4 Harvey, William, 9, 35 Hata, Sahachirō, 55, 58 Heatley, Norman, 2, 108–10, 112–13, 115, 117, 122–26, 128, 130, 132, 134, 135, 138n, 140, 141, 148, 151, 156, 157, 162, 164, 165, 195, 197, 198, 232, 280 bedpans used for growing penicillin, 123, 123, 136, 137 filtration machine of, 123–25, 124, 293 Helmont, Jan Baptist van, 208 Henle, Jacob, 22 heroic medicine, 7, 8, 10–11, 36 Heyden Chemical, 225–26 Hicks, Thomas, 261 Hill, Austin Bradford, 209–13, 288, 291 Hinshaw, Corwin, 196–201, 203, 206–7 Hippocrates, 8, 183, 187 Hippocratic Oath, 8n, 12, 36n, 262 histamines, 186 histology, 41 Hitler, Adolf, 179 HIV, 293–94 Hobby, Gladys, 165, 219 Hodgkin, Dorothy Crowfoot, 142–47, 143, 173–76, 221, 235n, 274, 293 Hodgkin, Thomas, 143 Hoechst AG, 45–47, 55, 57–58, 62, 160n, 296–97 Hoffmann-La Roche, 163, 230, 268 Hollaender, Alexander, 165 Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Sr., 36–37, 67n, 267 Homo sapiens, 183, 184 Hooke, Robert, 142 Hopkins, Frederick Gowland, 104–5 Hörlein, Heinrich, 63, 65, 68–69 hospitals: infections acquired in, 301–2 sanitary environment in, 33–35 Hughes, W.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

In steel production, the British Bessemer process of blowing air through molten slag removed impurities and cut costs of production from £40 to £7 per ton. Operating eighteen five-ton Bessemer blast furnaces, Barrow Hematite Steel Company became the largest steel mill in the world at the turn of the twentieth century. Similarly, the German Haber-Bosch process of producing fertilizer from nitrogen in air, which is used in the production of half of all foodstuffs consumed today, was one factor contributing to rise of giant BASF, which is still the world’s largest chemical company. And American Thomas Edison’s inventions in lighting and cheap power generation gave rise to General Electric, while Henry Ford’s use of mass production accelerated the rise of Ford Motor Company.

., 19 Fortune 500, 65 Foursquare, 97, 98 fragmented industries, 131, 262, 265, 268–69, 289 fraud, 175, 196–97, 255, 257, 276 Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Anderson), 22 freelancers (independent contractors), 21, 36, 37, 64, 65, 117–18, 193–94, 196, 210, 213, 233–34, 249–51, 279, 280, 287, 297, 299 free trade, 205, 206, 235 Friedersdorf, Conor, 236 Friendster, 98 FuelBand, 74, 75 full-time employees, 249–50 FUSE Labs, 252–53 games, gaming, 94, 103, 124, 132, 159, 163, 178, 211, 212, 217, 221, 240 “Gangnam Style,” 84, 147 gatekeepers, 7–8, 151–52, 171–73, 243, 253, 262, 265, 268, 275–76, 281, 289, 298 Gawer, Annabelle, 58, 178–79 Gebbia, Joe, 1–2 General Electric (GE), 4, 13, 19, 76, 78, 86, 110, 201, 204, 208, 247, 284 Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, 238–39 geographic focus, 98–99, 271 Germany, 96–97, 161, 205 Gillette, King, 109–10 Global 500, 209–10 Go-Jek, 278 Goldberg, Whoopi, 23 Goodwin, Tom, 11–12 Google, vii, 3–7, 21–25, 30–33, 49–50, 55, 58, 64, 72, 111, 112, 120, 121, 125, 134, 137, 140–41, 148, 153–54, 159, 198–99, 214–17, 226, 240, 242, 250, 267, 270–71 Google AdWords, 72, 120, 121, 125 Google Maps, 49–50, 55, 148, 200 Google Play, 154 government platforms, 261, 281–83, 289 graphical processing units (GPUs), 56, 57, 58 graphic design, 67, 226 Great Britain, 160, 205 gross domestic product (GDP), 160, 161 Grossman, Nick, 253, 254, 255, 256 Guardian, 144–45 Gurley, Bill, 16–18, 21 Haber-Bosch process, 19 Hachette Book Group, 251 Haier Group, vii, 76, 125, 198–99, 222 Halo, 94, 240 Halo: Combat Evolved, 94 Hammurabi, Code of, 274 hard drives (HDs), 56, 57, 58 hardware, 56, 57–58, 136, 152–53, 178–79 Harvard University, 98–99, 266 hashtags, 58, 104 Havas Media, 11–12 health care, 32–33, 35, 69, 71, 77, 200, 233, 234, 238, 245, 261, 263, 265, 268–72, 277, 280, 289 health insurance, 234, 263, 271–72, 277, 280 Heiferman, Scott, 113–14, 126 heirlooms, 161–62 Here, 49–50 Hertz, 9 heuristics, 123–24 Hilton Hotels, 8, 64 Hipstamatic, 100 homeowners’ insurance, 175, 232 horizontal integration, 33, 74–76, 208 hospitals, 69, 71, 233, 270, 271–72 hosting sites, 88, 198, 223–24 hotel industry, 1–2, 8–9, 10, 12, 64, 67, 101, 111, 142–43, 198, 224, 229–33, 236, 253, 287 Hotmail, 103, 104 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 204, 208, 225 HTTP, 177 Huffington Post, 90 human resources, 14, 39 human rights, 159, 160–61 hypercompetition, 209–10, 213 IBM, x, 137, 152, 179, 284 iCloud, 75 identity theft, 244 InCloudCounsel, 279 income streams, 139–41, 143, 144, 215 India, 73, 91 Indiegogo, 96, 124 Indonesia, 278 Industrial Awakening, 285–86 industrial development, 205–10, 224–25, 268 industrial-era firms, 19, 32, 34, 256, 285, 288 Industrial Revolution, 288 Industry Standard Architecture (ISA), 58 information, 40, 42 agencies for, 243–44 age of, 253, 256, 260 asymmetries of, 161–62, 164, 181, 182, 220, 228, 258–59, 262–63, 265, 269, 281, 289 exchange of, 36, 37, 39, 41, 47–48, 51, 134 intensive need for, 262–63, 265, 268, 281, 289 mis-, 129–30 platforms for, 190, 200, 287 units of, 296–97 initial public offerings (IPOs), ix, 91, 204–5 Instagram, 3, 13, 32, 46, 47, 66, 85, 100, 102–3, 104, 204, 217, 218, 299 instant messaging, 131, 198, 211 insurance industry, 9, 62, 71, 142, 164, 175–76, 232, 268, 277 integrated systems, 33, 74, 131 Intel, vii, x, 57–58, 89, 137, 178–81, 270–71, 284 Intel Architecture Labs (IAL), 179–81 intellectual property (IP), 33, 57, 167, 174–75, 180, 258 interaction failures, 190, 192, 196–97 Interbrand, 198–99 interest rates, 170, 244, 276 Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 93 internal transparency, 176–79 International Financial Reporting Standards, 238–39 Internet, 24–25, 32, 60–63, 76–79, 95–96, 107–13, 121, 167, 201, 204, 205, 209, 244, 249, 250, 263, 264, 283–89, 299 Internet of things, 76, 201, 204, 283–86, 289 inventory, 9, 11–12, 25, 42, 141, 184, 186, 262 investment, ix, 16, 63, 164, 168–69, 184–86, 209, 278 iPads, 95 iPhone, 3, 6–7, 72, 131, 140, 147, 148, 178, 211, 213–14, 222 iStockphoto, 167–68, 173 iTunes, 75, 131, 142, 153, 164, 214, 231 Japan, 66, 205–6 Jassy, Andrew, 177–78 Java programming language, 140 Jawbone, x, 77, 245 job listings, 39, 49, 50, 51, 63, 111, 118–19, 120, 131, 133–34, 137, 184–86, 196, 201, 218 Jobs, Steve, viii, 53, 131, 214 joint venture model, 137, 138 judiciary, 237, 238, 250 JVC, 138–39 Kalanick, Travis, 18, 62 Kelley, Brian P., 157 Kenya, 277–78 Kercher, Meredith, 129–30, 149–50 Keurig Green Mountain, 143, 157–58, 159, 181 Kickstarter, 40, 92, 96, 102, 111 Kindle, 7, 10, 67, 140, 154, 243 Kindle Fire, 140 Knox, Amanda, 129–30, 149–50 Korengold, Barry, 61 Kozmo, 22–23 Kretschmer, Tobias, 257 Kuraitis, Vince, 270, 271 labor: child, 164 division of, 280 market for, 39, 49, 50, 51, 63, 111, 118–19, 120, 131, 133–34, 137, 196, 201, 218, 235 platforms for, 200, 201, 213, 233–34, 248–51, 279–81, 289 regulation of, 230, 249–51, 260, 288 self-employed, 21, 36, 37, 64, 65, 117–18, 193–94, 196, 210, 213, 233–34, 249–51, 279, 280, 287, 297, 299 unions for, 280, 288 Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 235, 237 law firms, 8, 204, 279 laws and legal systems, 88, 164–70, 182, 230, 247–49, 257, 258, 260, 281 lead generation, 113, 117 Lean Analytics (Croll and Yoskovitz), 191, 196 lean startups, 199, 201–2 Lee Kuan Yew, 160–61 LegalZoom, 204, 225 Lending Club, 77, 275, 276 Lessig, Lawrence, 164–65, 166 Levchin, Max, 79–81 Lexis, 204, 225 liability coverage, 175, 232 libertarianism, 79, 80, 236, 238 licensing fees, 61, 131, 258–59 licensing model, 136–37, 138, 139, 214, 235, 296 lightbulbs, 284–85 linear value chains (pipelines), 6, 183–84, 297, 298 LinkedIn, 39, 41–42, 48, 50–51, 103, 111, 119, 170, 173, 184, 197, 218–19, 223, 226, 245 Linux, 137, 138, 154, 200 liquidity, 189–91, 193, 194–95, 201–2, 297 local content regulations, 246–47 logos (icons), 82, 83 “long tail” (software adoption), 216–17, 219 Lyft, 49, 50–51, 67, 213, 227, 250–51, 297 Ma, Jack, 125, 206, 215 MacCormack, Alan, 57 magazines, 72, 151, 197, 244, 264, 275 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 69, 71 mail, 63, 94–95, 171 MailChimp, 109 Malaysia, 160 Management Science (MacCormack and Baldwin), 57 mandis (market-makers), 42–44 Manghani, Ravi, 273–74 manufacturing efficiencies, 208, 209, 261 MapMyFitness, 75 mapping services, 49–50, 55, 148, 200 marginal economics, 72, 78 Marini, Rick, 184–85 marketing, 14, 19, 25, 52–53, 72, 73–74, 84–85, 100, 101, 105, 183–84, 209–10, 267 Marketplace Fairness Act (2013), 249 marketplaces, 60, 91, 190, 204, 249 markets: access to, 87–88, 98, 194, 215, 218, 220 aggregation of, 68–69, 72–73, 78, 262, 297 controls for, 164–65 data on, 42–44 emerging, 210–11 entry barriers to, 207–8, 215, 219–20 expansion of, 4, 20, 31–32 failure of, xiii, 161–63, 164, 170–71, 182, 234–35, 256, 257, 258–59, 263, 289 free, 149, 161–65, 173–76, 180, 182, 234–36 frictionless entry into, 25–26, 34, 81, 107–8, 111, 117, 124–25, 130, 168, 206, 297 incumbent advantage in, 86, 218, 261, 263 late-mover problem in, 87–88, 98 liquidity of, 171, 196 local, 70–71, 117–18, 264 manipulation of, 238, 251–53, 260, 287 micro-, 98–99, 105 multi-sided, 159, 164 new entrants to, 207–10, 262, 296 niche, 88, 216, 223–24, 228, 300 one-sided, 157–58, 159 share of, 16–22, 33, 53, 60–62, 65, 81, 87–88, 112–13, 131–33, 132, 133, 137–40, 152–53, 157, 222–26, 260, 287 strategy for, viii, xi, 10, 16–18, 20, 21, 31–32, 33, 42–44, 57–58, 69–73, 77, 78, 89, 111, 124, 173, 210–11, 272–74, 278 supply and demand in, 69–71, 173, 210–11, 272–74, 278 “thickness” of, 164, 171, 173 two-sided, 81, 89, 93, 110, 119, 175, 196, 215, 218, 295, 298 winner-take-all, viii, 224–27, 228, 279–80, 300 marquee strategy, 94–95, 105 Marriott Hotels, 8–9 massive open online courses (MOOCs), 266–67 mass media, 40, 63, 72, 77, 262, 264 MasterCard, 226, 275 matching services, 17, 47–48 Matharu, Taran, 4–5 McCormick Foods, 76 McGraw-Hill, 204, 208 Mechanical Turk, 249, 280 Medicare, 250 Medicast, 269, 279 Medium, 71–72 Meetup, 113–15, 126 Megaupload, 87–88 membership fees, 123, 125 Mercateo, 96–97 mergers and acquisitions, 208, 216, 220–21, 228 Metcalfe, Robert, 20, 297 Metcalfe’s law, 20, 21, 295, 297 metering tools, 272–73 Microsoft, vii, x, 3, 13, 20, 29, 33, 52–53, 94, 103–4, 110, 124, 131, 140, 152–53, 179, 181, 200, 211, 216, 226, 240, 241, 252, 267, 270–71 Microsoft Outlook, 103–4 Microsoft Vista, 52–53 Microsoft Windows, 30, 53, 140, 152–53, 200, 222, 240 Microsoft Windows XP, 53 middlemen, 68–69, 71–72, 78, 161–62, 170–71, 298 Minerva Project, 268 mining, 225, 263 mislabeled bargains, 161–62, 170–71 MIT, ix–x, xi, 214, 266, 267 MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, ix–x MIT Platform Strategy Summit, xi, 214 moderators, 151–52 modular design, 54–57, 221 monetary policy, 159, 173–74 monetization, 38, 63, 106–27, 188, 215 MonkeyParking, 233, 234 monopolies, 18–19, 162, 163, 172–73, 182, 208–9, 227, 237, 238, 240–41, 242 Monster, 218–19, 223, 226 mortgages, 237, 243, 263 Mount, David, 285–86 MP3 players, 178 multidirectional platforms, 272–74 multihoming, 213–15, 223–28, 250–51, 297, 300 multinational corporations, 246–48 multi-sponsor decision-making, 139–40 multi-user feedback loop, 46, 100–101 music industry, 63, 71, 75, 87, 111, 134–35, 147, 178, 213, 226, 231, 258, 287, 297 MyFitnessPal, 75, 245 Myspace, 87, 92, 98, 125–26, 131–34, 132, 133, 135, 143, 204, 221, 226 Nakamoto, Satoshi, 171–73 Nalebuff, Barry J., 212 NASDAQ, ix, 80 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 237 navigation tools, 191, 297 NBC, 204, 225 negative cross-side effects, 30–32, 34, 295 negative externalities, 163, 229–34, 257, 287 negative feedback, 28, 157–58, 166–67 negative network effects, 17, 26–32, 34, 47, 49, 51, 68, 112–15, 120, 121, 123, 126, 151, 229–34, 287, 298 negative same-side effects, 30, 298 Nest, 204, 225 Netflix, 63, 163, 204, 225 Netscape, 62, 110 network matching, 26–28 network orchestrators, 32 News Corp., 126 news feeds, 121, 168, 251–52 newspapers, 63, 144–45, 264, 287 New York City, 61, 113, 123, 229–30, 231, 258–59 New York State, 69–70, 274 New York Stock Exchange, 55, 171 New York Times, 205 NeXT, 53 Nigeria, 247 Nike, 4, 74–76, 78, 205, 271 9/11 attacks, 113 99designs, 66, 106 Nintendo, 94, 211, 240 noise, 28, 114, 120, 199, 200 Nokia, 49–50, 64, 131, 226 Novel Writing Month, 4–5 NTT, 89 oDesk, 201 oil and gas industry, 225, 235, 259, 263, 272 OkCupid, xi, 26–28, 30, 195–96 oligopolies, 209, 238 on-boarding effect, 90–91, 97 online courses, 96, 111, 265–68, 289 Open Data, 282 “open in” vs.


pages: 154 words: 48,340

What We Need to Do Now: A Green Deal to Ensure a Habitable Earth by Chris Goodall

blockchain, carbon footprint, decarbonisation, energy transition, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, smart grid, smart meter

It contains just nitrogen and hydrogen and is produced from natural gas, a process that represents about 1 per cent of global emissions. The good news is that it is becoming possible to make ammonia without significant greenhouse effects, using hydrogen produced from electrolysis. The hydrogen is then combined with nitrogen in the conventional Haber-Bosch process widely used around the world today. However, the problem is not so much with the production of ammonia but with its breakdown on the farm into nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Ammonia-based (and other artificial) fertilisers also pollute watercourses, rivers and coasts, destroying their ability to sustain fish and many forms of plant life.


pages: 225 words: 54,010

A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright

Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, invention of agriculture, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, nuclear winter, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Malthus, urban sprawl

In the nineteenth century, the deposits were rapidly mined out, mainly by British interests; the miners were convicts and slaves, including hundreds kidnapped from Easter Island (see notes to chapter 3). In the early twentieth century, similar deposits were found in Micronesia, on Banaba and Nauru; these are now exhausted, and there are probably no others. The common Haber-Bosch process for making chemical fertilizer combines nitrogen from the air with hydrogen from natural gas or oil. 26. See Manning, “The Oil We Eat,” for an alarming analysis of the hidden costs of modern agriculture. In preindustrial civilizations, 80 to 90 per cent of people were farmers. In North America today, only 2 per cent work the land.


pages: 301 words: 85,263

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

AI winter, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, coastline paradox / Richardson effect, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, congestion charging, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disinformation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, Flash crash, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, late capitalism, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, meta-analysis, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, oil shock, p-value, pattern recognition, peak oil, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stem cell, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, Uber for X, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

It is perhaps this event that should be considered the beginning of the anthropocene, rather than some marvellous human invention belatedly recognised as suicidal. Not the invention of the coal-fired steam engine that kick-started the industrial age in the eighteenth century; not the fixation of nitrogen beginning with the invention of the Haber-Bosch process; not the release of billions of particles of radioactive contamination from the detonation of hundreds of nuclear bombs: the anthropocene starts with mass genocide, with planetary violence on such a scale that it registers in ice cores and the pollination of crops. It is the hallmark of the anthropocene that, unlike those epochs that started with a meteor strike or sustained volcanic eruptions, its origins are cloudy and uncertain.


pages: 334 words: 100,201

Origin Story: A Big History of Everything by David Christian

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cepheid variable, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, complexity theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, demographic transition, double helix, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, nuclear winter, planetary scale, rising living standards, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, Yogi Berra

During World War I, Germany ran short of natural fertilizers, and German scientists, led by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, figured out how to draw nitrogen from the air to make artificial fertilizers. Nitrogen doesn’t like to react, so this was not easy. Prokaryotes had solved the problem billions of years ago, but Haber and Bosch were the first multicellular organisms to successfully fix atmospheric nitrogen. The Haber-Bosch process uses huge amounts of energy to overcome nitrogen’s reluctance to combine chemically, so it was viable only in a world of fossil fuels. But artificial nitrogen-based fertilizers transformed agriculture, raised the productivity of arable land throughout the world, and made it possible to feed several billion more humans.


pages: 396 words: 117,897

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, British Empire, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, megacity, megastructure, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, Post-Keynesian economics, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, rolodex, X Prize

For example, the lignin carbon fiber used in reducing the weight of passenger cars and other vehicles costs 670 GJ/t and carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (polyacrylonitrite) fiber requires just over 700 GJ/t (Das, 2011), more than three times that of aluminum. Because of the high pressures and high temperatures required for the catalytic synthesis of ammonia from its elements, the Haber–Bosch process used to be among the most energy-intensive sectors in chemical industry: the first commercial Haber–Bosch plants (using coke as their feedstock) required more than 100 GJ/t of NH3, and pre-World War II coal-based plants still needed about 85 GJ/t. Post-1950, the shift to natural gas and low-pressure reforming using reciprocating compressors lowered the rate to 50–55 GJ/t.


pages: 518 words: 128,324

Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides's Trap by Graham Allison

9 dash line, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, game design, George Santayana, Haber-Bosch Process, industrial robot, Internet of things, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, long peace, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, one-China policy, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, the rule of 72, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, UNCLOS, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Wiener, English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850–1980 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 22–24. [back] 42. For a personal understanding of the scale of German scientific ingenuity, readers should reflect on the fact that half the nitrogen atoms in their body at this moment were originally “fixed” from the atmosphere by the Haber-Bosch process, which was developed in 1913 and today produces the chemical fertilizer for half of humanity’s food supply. Robert L. Zimdahl, Six Chemicals That Changed Agriculture (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015), 60. [back] 43. Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, 194–96; MacMillan, The War That Ended Peace, 54–55.


pages: 505 words: 147,916

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

The era of artificial fertilisers was born, a geoengineering innovation that would deliberately and profoundly change the planet’s nitrogen cycle. The effect of artificial fertilisers on crop production, and hence on population growth, was immediate. The number of humans that could be fed from a hectare of land more than doubled. Half of the protein in our bodies now comes from ammonia made in the Haber–Bosch process. Billions of people owe their daily bread, rice and potatoes to artificial fertilisers. In the past century, the industrialisation and intensification of agriculture has taken over the world. Some 40% of the ice-free surface is used for crops or livestock, making agriculture the biggest artificial land surface and one of the most obvious signs of our influence on the planet in the Anthropocene.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, bond market vigilante , Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, you are the product, zero-sum game

The process was bought by BASF, a German company, where another chemist, Carl Bosch, figured out how to industrialise the process. This ammonia was turned into fertiliser of various kinds, including ammonium nitrate and urea. Without it, the current level of global population could never have been reached. The Haber-Bosch process could be put to more deadly purposes, such as the manufacture of explosives and chlorine gas, which the Germans used in the First World War. On the night that Haber celebrated a German chemical attack at Ypres in 1915, his wife committed suicide with her husband’s gun (although her motives were not completely clear).39 When Germany lost the war, the patents for the process were confiscated and other countries were able to exploit it.


pages: 687 words: 189,243

A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, Herbert Marcuse, hindsight bias, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, survivorship bias, the market place, the strength of weak ties, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern

One could also mention Tobias Cohn (or Toviyyah ben Moshe ha-Kohen,1652–1729), who wrote an encyclopedic work on medicine and natural philosophy published in 1707 and who criticized some of his fellow Jewish intellectuals for being too devoted to Kabbalah; at the same time, however, he viciously attacked heliocentrism as opposed to the scriptures (Neher, 1977). 16 Among the more notable names (beside Einstein and Freud) are those of the physical chemist Fritz Haber, inventor of the Haber-Bosch process, arguably one of the most important inventions of all times; Lazar L. Zamenhof, the inventor of Esperanto; Paul Ehrlich, the originator of modern Immunology; the flight pioneer Otto Lilienthal; Theodore von Kármán, the father of supersonic flight; László Bíró, the inventor of the ballpoint pen; and Carl Djerassi, the pioneer of birth control pills. 17 Neher (1977, p. 213) claims implausibly that within the Jewish community “freedom of thought was not an inaccessible value” and that it was an integral part of the Jewish conception of science.


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Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, sunk-cost fallacy, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

But we never defined the stakes: growing a local, tasty, organic tomato is a problem facing the developed world; growing enough tomatoes for six, soon to be nine billion people able to afford them is the dilemma facing the developing one. A century ago, the world faced an impending Malthusian crisis: farmers had run up against the hard limits of soil productivity. The Haber-Bosch process for synthesizing fertilizer averted disaster and was largely responsible for the fourfold increase in food supply known as the Green Revolution. Now the world faces another, with the UN warning us that food production must double in the next forty years to feed, clothe, and fuel nine billion people.


How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Albert Einstein, book scanning, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, citizen journalism, City Beautiful movement, clean water, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, friendly fire, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Howard Zinn, immigration reform, land reform, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, urban planning, wikimedia commons

Mined fertilizers kept industrial agriculture sustainable long enough for scientists to devise a more permanent solution: manufacturing fertilizer from the unreactive N2 in the atmosphere. The breakthrough came in 1909, when Fritz Haber, a German-Jewish chemist, developed a technique for synthesizing ammonia, a nitrogen compound. By 1914, the experimental technique had become industrially viable, and in that year Haber’s method, called the Haber–Bosch process, yielded as much reactive nitrogen as the entire Peruvian guano trade. The difference was that Haber–Bosch, unlike guano mining, was infinitely expandable. It also didn’t require scouring the seas for uninhabited islands. In a single stroke, Haber had opened the floodgates for the virtually unlimited growth of human life.