My Nitrogen Footprint
|Source of Nitrogen||Amount of Nitrogen in Kilograms (Kg)|
|Goods and services||4|
Comparison of Annual N Footprint to the US National Average
|Source of Nitrogen||Amount of Nitrogen in Kilograms (Kg)||U.S. National Average (Kg)|
|Goods and services||4||3|
|Total||43 Kg||39 Kg|
My N footprint is approximately 10 percent higher than the United States national average, which is significantly higher than the N footprints of most Americans. The footprint is higher than the national average because I utilize a lot of energy in transportation and consumption of goods and services. I drive a sedan car, which consumes more fuel than a hybrid car. Moreover, I travel long distances daily by bus and I fly more than 48 hours yearly.
Comparatively, my N footprint is higher than the United States national average. The analysis of my N footprint shows that some categories are similar, lower, or higher than the national average. The footprint in the category of housing is similar to the national average of 3kg because I minimize my household consumption of electricity and natural gas. In the categories of transportation (10kg) and goods/services (4kg), the footprint is higher than the national averages, which are 6kg and 3kg respectively. The footprint is significantly higher in transportation because I drive a sedan car, which consumes more fuel than a hybrid car. Moreover, I travel more than 100km daily by car and bus, and I fly more than 48 hours a year. In the aspect of goods and services, I consume more than the average consumption level. However, my footprint in the category of food consumption is lower than the national average because I minimize the consumption of meat and dairy products.
To reduce my personal footprint, I need to reduce the footprint in transportation, goods and services, and food consumption. In the transportation category, I need to drive a hybrid car, which consumes less amount of fuel than a sedan car. Additionally, I need to reduce the distances that I drive or travel by bus or train, which are more economical. Regarding the category of goods and services, I should avoid overindulgence and become an average consumer. Since my food consumption is close to the national average, I need to reduce the consumption of dairy products and meat.
Comparison of the two countries shows that the United States has a higher annual footprint than Germany. The annual average footprint of the United States is 39kg, while the annual average footprint for Germany is 23kg. In specific categories, the national food consumption averages are 27kg and 23kg for the United States and Germany respectively. In the categories of housing, transportation, and goods and services, the US national averages are 3kg, 6kg, and 3kg respectively. In contrast, each of the categories, namely, housing, transportation, and goods and services, has 1kg as a national average. The difference in the national footprint in the category of food consumption depends on whether there is the treatment of sewage to remove reactive nitrogen. In the housing category, the national average is dependent on the amount of electricity and natural gas that households consume. The difference in the national average in the category of transportation is due to the consumption rate of fuel by vehicles, means of public transport, and the source of energy. The amount of nitrogen emitted during the processing of goods and services is close to the national average.
- Reactive nitrogen occurs in nitrogenous compounds, which are active biologically, radioactively, and photo-chemically, and thus available for plants to utilize in growth and development. These nitrogenous compounds are ammonia (NH3), ammonium (NH4+), nitrogen oxides (NOx), nitrates (NO3–), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
- Virtual nitrogen is an essential component in industrial food processing. In essence, virtual nitrogen is the proportion of nitrogen that is not present in the food consumed but is an input in the production of food.
Fritz Haber deserves the Nobel Prize because he made a noble invention during the 20th century, which has saved billions of people from hunger. Owing to the intensive and extensive agricultural activities during the Agrarian revolution, nitrogenous compounds diminished significantly in the soil, which resulted in a decline in food production. However, the invention of the Haber-Bosch process by Fritz Harber has saved billions of people because it has enabled the world to feed its population. Although Fritz Harbor formed chlorine, a poisonous gas, and advocated for its use in warfare, posthumous stripping of his Nobel Prize is not reasonable. Fritz Harber won the Nobel Prize because he saved the world from hunger by ensuring that there is enough food for billions of people. The use of chlorine during the First World War, which led to the loss of 1.3 million lives, does not warrant posthumous stripping of the Nobel Prize. The debate regarding posthumous stripping of the Nobel Prize contrasts the life of Alfred Nobel. As the inventor of dynamite and subsequent manufacturer of armaments, Alfred Nobel has killed millions of people. However, he instituted annual Nobel Prizes using proceeds from his estate in rewarding people who advocate for peace, fraternity, and suppression of armies. In this view, both Fritz Harber and Alfred Nobel have left positive impacts, which continue to benefit the current society.