Holly Fretwell of PERC discusses the huge leap in agricultural yields since WWII
Not only does this mean that we have have billions of people on Earth and not starve, but it also has freed up labor for more productive and value-enhancing activities.
As an aside, remember this chart when global warming alarmists argue the the warming trend of the last 50 years is reducing crop yields. (If the linked article seems simply bizarre given the chart above, realize the NYT is saying that crop yields are down from what they might have been. This is the same kind of faulty logic that was used by Obama to credit his stimulus with job gains when in fact the economy was losing jobs. They posit some unproveable hypothetical, and then say reality diverged from that hypothetical because of whatever factor they are trying to push, whether it be CO2 or stimulus).
The problem with food prices is not production, its the fact that we take such a huge percentage of our food grains and, by government dictat, convert them to automotive fuel.
From PERC, a group focused on free-market environmentalism
The Julian Simon Fellowship has an open application process, so applications are always welcome. Review of applications will begin as soon as they are received.
The Julian Simon Fellowship is one of the nation's most prestigious opportunities for scholars to develop policy-oriented research on natural resource and environmental conservation. The in-residence fellowship is intended to continue the legacy of the late Julian Simon, whose research led to a massive re-evaluation by scholars and policy makers of their views on the interplay between population, natural resources, and the environment.
The ideal candidate for this fellowship is someone like Julian; an excellent scholar with a focus on empirical work and an imaginative research agenda that emphasizes natural resource and environmental issues.
Each Julian Simon Fellow is expected to spend at least two months in residence at PERC developing a paper of publishable quality, one that has significant policy implications. During their stay at PERC, Julian Simon Fellows are expected to present a seminar on their work.
Each Julian Simon Fellow will receive an honorarium of $20,000 plus office space, office support, and a congenial, stimulating work environment. Fellows will be responsible for their accommodations in Bozeman, but PERC is happy to assist with arrangements.