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.

Planned Obsolescence: The Way Back

Recently, I posted about the problem of planned obsolescence, and how industry profits mightily by creating products with shorter than necessary lifespans in order to drum up repeat business. On one hand, this practice creates jobs for people who keep producing the items people need as the old ones wear out. On the other hand,

Planned Obsolescence: A double-edged sword

The modern consumer economy is a thing of wonder, isn’t it? We don’t just have iPhones, we have brand new models of iPhones every couple years. We don’t just have two linen shirts to wear anymore, we have new lines of fashion twice (or more) annually and most clothes are so cheap, it doesn’t matter

Dicamba Soy: The Problem is the Solution

Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready GMO soybeans are facing a classic Red Queen race. Originally modified to include a gene that renders the soybeans resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, enabling farmers who planted them to spray their fields with Monsanto’s Round-Up without harming their crop, they are becoming less useful to farmers because the weeds that the

We’re Running Out of Buffer

A given population, whether it is the yeast in a homebrewer’s carboy or nation-state of people, will tend to expand to fit or exceed the size of the available resource base. If a population exceeds the budget of resources that can be reasonably accessed, the inevitable result is suffering, as the overshoot resolves itself. (In