Climate & Environment

John Gibbons: We’ve got to change our choice of food to feed our growing population

Half of all the habitable land on Earth is now used to feed our vast livestock herds, and for crop production for direct human consumption, with profound impacts on the biosphere

Fritz Haber is hardly a household name, yet the German chemist’s invention in the first decade of the 20th century arguably changed the course of human history.

His breakthrough was in creating ammonia, or chemical nitrogen. Initially, it allowed Germany to continue to produce explosives as well as fertilisers, after the British had imposed a naval blockade during World War I.

Haber also developed chlorine as a poison gas, which the German army deployed to ...