Units of KJ

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I have a question for my chemistry course that has me confused. It reads... Discuss the idea that the standard of living in a society might be measured in units of KJ/person available in that society.

Im not sure what they are asking, is it a matter of every person having acess to a certain amout of energy, or is it that you status, or way of living is based on the amount of energy you have available to you. If it is the first what happens to that neonate in intesive care who is on a powered verntilator...does he get acess to more KJ or do you just have a set amount then your done?

Any toughts on this would be great...though I fail to see the relavence of this to my chemistry course.



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To get the amount of energy available to each person in a country you would need to know the total amount of energy, of all forms, produced by a nation. Given that number you simply divide by by population. Now any number obtained in this manner is a gross average, and does not make any statement about the energy consumption of a single individual.

I do not think that the energy consumption of of an individual on a respirator will higher then that of the person who lives in a lighted, heated/ Air conditioned home and drives an SUV 20mi to and from work every day.


kJ not KJ!

James R

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Try listing the countries with the highest per capita energy consumption. Would they be Western nations, such as the US, or poor African nations, do you think?

Now list the countries with the highest standards of living.

See any relationship between the two lists?
Thanks for all the input!
After the whistle perhaps...

We consume energy in the form of food, electricity, gasoline used in cars, production consumption that we use as products. Depending on the ‘industrialization’ and eating and activity habits, we will use and produce differing amounts of energy in various forms. Now the amount of food, heating, air conditioning, gas for automobiles, production capacity all are signs of an industrialized country, which industrialized contires like to think themselves living at a higher standard of living then ‘less advanced’ countries with no access to electron accelerators and MRI’s. If you have access to the latest tech and computers on every desk (or two), and people have AI’s to crunch their numbers and plan their lives, then people have more time to ‘enjoy life’, with what is left of the environment, or the reacreated environment, in leisure rather than lifestyle pursuits. The more ‘energy’ we have stuff produce, the less energy ‘we need to produce’, with food and production and utilization of our potential energies in applied systems. Now if everyone has one or two robots working for them utilizing other sources of energy it means that our repeated tasks are removed, e.g. starting a fire to cook meat, or putting something in an oven. When we have access to energy sources we don’t need to draw from ourselves. Although this may be an energy benefit for some, the damage done by the artifical systems creates an ongoing cycle of required energy to contain or direct the results of the ‘automated’ energy systems utilized that are not ‘primal’ or concentrated and mass produced. If we calculate all energy produced, and divide by the population we could create a type of chart to demonstrate this, I don’t have the statistics available to me at the time. I can assume that Japan, Germany, United States, (Canada) etc.. and other G8 countries will have higher ratings then say, Mongolia, Bhutan, Columbia etc.. I honestly think that lifestyle is tied more to “economy” trade etc.., however energy does play some role in a ‘technological economy. Although I think lifestyle is a ‘cultural’ notion not a scientific one or one relating directly to chemistry.
1 cal=4.184 J. 1000cal=1 Calorie which is the measurement of energy in food that you see on food labels. so measuring kJ/person is like measuring how much food is available to people in different countries. this could be one way you might measure a standard of living.

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