Blue Nest Blog

Bigger Problems

By Russ Conser | April 14, 2022

“Supply chains” are on many a mind these days. Ford struggles to make trucks, and as announced on Monday, we’re currently struggling to get frozen beef all the way to the door for some of you. We’ve been doing our best to apply band aids, but the full solution has as-of-yet been elusive.  And so I am…

…and Bees

By Russ Conser | March 31, 2022

It’s time we have the talk – you know… the birds AND the bees! 😉 No not THAT talk, the one wherein we talk about how even though we focus a lot on birds, bees (and other insects) matter, too.  Birds are easier to see, hear and often admire their beauty, but the insects do a huge…

Synthetic Savanna

By Russ Conser | February 23, 2022

Last week I told you about the tragedy of US “renewable fuels” policy and how at least in terms of climate impact, our modern corn ethanol industry was at best no better than gasoline, and more likely worse. This outcome was driven by the tragedy of carbon lost by plowing up grasslands to grow corn.…

Plowed field that's empty

Renewable Tragedy

By Russ Conser | February 23, 2022

As you now know, I grew up in the corn belt. When ethanol first became ‘a thing’ during the energy crises of the 1970’s, we made sure to buy fuel that included ethanol to support our neighbors and cousins, and not rely so much on imported energy. Only later would I learn that ethanol from…

America the Rebeautified

By Russ Conser | February 23, 2022

“Oh beautiful, for spacious skiesFor amber waves of grainFor purple mountain majestiesAbove the fruited plain.” The song has inspired generations. But few seem to realize that those “amber waves of grain” replaced the fruited plains even before we curtailed their waves! In a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare, America successfully fed the world and impaired its own natural beauty at…

Breathing Earth

By Russ Conser | January 20, 2022

In an earlier musing, I wondered whether counting carbon was actually a good idea? It’s not that counting it might be bad, it’s the potential myopia if we focus on it too much. To be clear, carbon is actually a good thing to count as part of a bigger picture. Today, I want to help you see that…

Lost Savannas

By Russ Conser | January 13, 2022

Savanna – some think it’s just a city in Georgia, but of course that name came from somewhere.   A “savanna” is a mixed grassland-woodland ecosystem. It’s the place where grass and trees live together because each makes the other better. As an environment gets more rainfall, it can support more trees because they require more water to…

Clean Eating

By Russ Conser | January 6, 2022

Well, this week marks another milestone in government silliness. No not that one, this one.   Some high paid bureaucrats in DC have decided that instead of labelling foods with already fuzzy terms like “genetically engineered” or as containing “genetically modified organisms,” it would be clearer to label foods with new terms such as “bioengineered.” Or if…

Whole Earth – In Memory Of E. O. Wilson

By Russ Conser | December 30, 2021

“Future generations are going to forgive us our horrible genocidal wars because they have passed too far in history. They will forgive us all of the earlier generations’ follies and harm. But they will not forgive us for having thrown away such a large part of the rest of life on our watch.” – E. O.…

Rediscovered “Countrey”

By Russ Conser | November 22, 2021

My grandfather was born in 1901 in St Joseph, Missouri. Just 97 years before that, on July 4, 1804, William Clark, of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, stood on the hills just across the Missouri River from “St Jo” and penned this description of what he saw before his eyes:  “The Plains of this countrey are covered with…