Dawn Allen

Dawn Allen is a freelance writer and editor who is passionate about sustainability, political economy, gardening, traditional craftwork, and simple living. She and her husband are currently renovating a rural homestead in southeastern Michigan.

HPV Vaccine Success Should Be Expanded

It’s been a decade since the first HPV vaccine was administered in Australia on August 29, 2006. While the vaccine has been surrounded by some amount of controversy, ten years is enough distance from which to look back and take stock of the results. Happily, there’s good news to report! Since that day in 2006,

Aspartame: Science, Tribalism and Purity

Is aspartame dangerous? The answer you receive depends upon who you ask. However, do varying answers prove an actual controversy surrounding the safety of aspartame and artificial sweeteners in general? Or could it be that something else is informing the debate between two sides who both believe that the weight of science rests squarely on

Fort McClellan: A Toxic Scandal

From January 1, 1935 to May 20, 1999, Fort McClellan, located near the town of Anniston, Alabama, served as a training ground and military base for the Army Military Police school, the Women’s Army Corps, and the U.S. Army Chemical Corps school, among others. Before it was closed as part of the Army Base Closure

Walmart’s Continuing Externality Problem

For years, Walmart has been able to offer customers low prices. These low prices are often criticized as being unsustainable, as the costs are foisted off onto any entity that doesn’t run away fast enough. Walmart’s suppliers are squeezed for pennies by economically coercing them into signing deals that they can’t refuse, because to be

Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Continue

For protesters at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, everywhere is downstream. A historic gathering of Native Americans from sixty tribes, including Sioux who haven’t come together since the time of Greasy Grass (Battle of Little Bighorn), has converged near Cannonball, North Dakota where Dakota Access, LLC, is set to build a pipeline to

A Cold Civil War is Still Being Fought

After Dylann Roof gunned down nine parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, people of conscience all over the United States agitated for the removal of the Confederate flag from public venues like the South Carolina state house. Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill into law, and it looked like we

Be the Climate Change You Wish to See #3

In the last couple days, I talked about ways that individuals and collectives can act to reduce the threat of climate change. This is not new information, and a lot of it is rather obvious when you think about it for a couple minutes. And yet, we go about our days changing very little. We

Be the Climate Change You Wish to See #2

In Part 1, I laid out some ways we can mitigate climate change by investing radically in local food production and especially in our soil. However, not all the changes we need to make are as easy as these. This is where we get serious and talk about making the hard choices… or not. Just

Be the Climate Change You Wish to See #1

Climate change is really happening. We’ve had “500 year” storms every couple months lately. People are having to relocate whole communities because of rising water and erosion. An old, radioactive military base is melting right out of the ice. Even mainstream outlets like Rolling Stone are talking about climate change. Sure, there are deniers, but the

On Poop and Politics

Our infrastructure, as Hillary Clinton pointed out recently in her economic plan, is old. We’re “living off the investments that were made by our parents and grandparents’ generations,” and many of those investments are starting to show their age. The functionality of municipal sewer systems is increasingly questionable: they’re falling apart because we don’t maintain