Tag Archives: fritz haber

Fritz Haber: The guy who invented synthetic nitrogen fertilizer AND Chemical warfare!

29 Feb

National Public Radio’s Dan Charles covered the life and times of Fritz Haber in a two part radio show. Before Norman Bourlag worked on shortening today’s common staple crops so that they would put more resources into grain and less into height, Fritz Haber invented synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Without these two men, we would be hard pressed to feed all of humanity right now. They could be considered the fathers of the green revolution.

Tragically, Mr. Haber did not stop with nitrogen fertilizer but went on to invent chemical warfare during world war I by proposing the use of chlorine gas on the french in the trenches. He played a role in creating the gas that would later be used to exterminate his own people in world war II. It is hard to put this show into words. It is harder still to be grateful to this intelligent man who set the stage for modern agriculture. You’ve just got to hear it to believe it! Tell me what you think! Can we learn from this? Is this an example that looks like something we are playing innocently with today?