Ronald Bailey on the Future of Farming


Credit: rick harrison / / CC BY-NC-SA

"Humanity now stands at Peak Farmland, and the 21st century will see [the] release of vast areas of land, hundreds of millions of hectares, more than twice the area of France, for nature," declared Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, in a December lecture. Ausubel was outlining the findings of a study he and his collaborators had reported in the Population and Development Review Supplement that month. Unlike other alleged resource "peaks," reports Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey, peak farmland reflects not the exhaustion of resources but the fruits of human intelligence and affluence.