NewEnergyNews-Butterfield Archive

WALL STREET JOURNAL'S Environmental Capital quotes NewEnergyNews:

  • 06/05/2007
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    WALL STREET JOURNAL selects NewEnergyNews as one of the "Blogs We Are Reading" --

  • 05/14/2007
  • 04/16/2007
  • 03/28/2007
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      Anne B. Butterfield of DAILY CAMERA, a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews


    • My Novels: OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades & OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction
    • Review of OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades by Mark S. Friedman
    • OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The American Decades, the second volume of Herman K. Trabish’s retelling of oil’s history in fiction, picks up where the first book in the series, OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction, left off. The new book is an engrossing, informative and entertaining tale of the Roaring 20s, World War II and the Cold War. You don’t have to know anything about the first historical fiction’s adventures set between the Civil War, when oil became a major commodity, and World War I, when it became a vital commodity, to enjoy this new chronicle of the U.S. emergence as a world superpower and a world oil power.
    • As the new book opens, Lefash, a minor character in the first book, witnesses the role Big Oil played in designing the post-Great War world at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Unjustly implicated in a murder perpetrated by Big Oil agents, LeFash takes the name Livingstone and flees to the U.S. to clear himself. Livingstone’s quest leads him through Babe Ruth’s New York City and Al Capone’s Chicago into oil boom Oklahoma. Stymied by oil and circumstance, Livingstone marries, has a son and eventually, surprisingly, resolves his grievances with the murderer and with oil.
    • In the new novel’s second episode the oil-and-auto-industry dynasty from the first book re-emerges in the charismatic person of Victoria Wade Bridger, “the woman everybody loved.” Victoria meets Saudi dynasty founder Ibn Saud, spies for the State Department in the Vichy embassy in Washington, D.C., and – for profound and moving personal reasons – accepts a mission into the heart of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Underlying all Victoria’s travels is the struggle between the allies and axis for control of the crucial oil resources that drove World War II.
    • As the Cold War begins, the novel’s third episode recounts the historic 1951 moment when Britain’s MI-6 handed off its operations in Iran to the CIA, marking the end to Britain’s dark manipulations and the beginning of the same work by the CIA. But in Trabish’s telling, the covert overthrow of Mossadeq in favor of the ill-fated Shah becomes a compelling romance and a melodramatic homage to the iconic “Casablanca” of Bogart and Bergman.
    • Monty Livingstone, veteran of an oil field youth, European WWII combat and a star-crossed post-war Berlin affair with a Russian female soldier, comes to 1951 Iran working for a U.S. oil company. He re-encounters his lost Russian love, now a Soviet agent helping prop up Mossadeq and extend Mother Russia’s Iranian oil ambitions. The reunited lovers are caught in a web of political, religious and Cold War forces until oil and power merge to restore the Shah to his future fate. The romance ends satisfyingly, America and the Soviet Union are the only forces left on the world stage and ambiguity is resolved with the answer so many of Trabish’s characters ultimately turn to: Oil.
    • Commenting on a recent National Petroleum Council report calling for government subsidies of the fossil fuels industries, a distinguished scholar said, “It appears that the whole report buys these dubious arguments that the consumer of energy is somehow stupid about energy…” Trabish’s great and important accomplishment is that you cannot read his emotionally engaging and informative tall tales and remain that stupid energy consumer. With our world rushing headlong toward Peak Oil and epic climate change, the OIL IN THEIR BLOOD series is a timely service as well as a consummate literary performance.
    • Oil history journal articles by Dr. Trabish: Oil Stories and Histories
    • Review of OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, The Story of Our Addiction by Mark S. Friedman
    • "...ours is a culture of energy illiterates." (Paul Roberts, THE END OF OIL)
    • OIL IN THEIR BLOOD, a superb new historical fiction by Herman K. Trabish, addresses our energy illiteracy by putting the development of our addiction into a story about real people, giving readers a chance to think about how our addiction happened. Trabish's style is fine, straightforward storytelling and he tells his stories through his characters.
    • The book is the answer an oil family's matriarch gives to an interviewer who asks her to pass judgment on the industry. Like history itself, it is easier to tell stories about the oil industry than to judge it. She and Trabish let readers come to their own conclusions.
    • She begins by telling the story of her parents in post-Civil War western Pennsylvania, when oil became big business. This part of the story is like a John Ford western and its characters are classic American melodramatic heroes, heroines and villains.
    • In Part II, the matriarch tells the tragic story of the second generation and reveals how she came to be part of the tales. We see oil become an international commodity, traded on Wall Street and sought from London to Baku to Mesopotamia to Borneo. A baseball subplot compares the growth of the oil business to the growth of baseball, a fascinating reflection of our current president's personal career.
    • There is an unforgettable image near the center of the story: International oil entrepreneurs talk on a Baku street. This is Trabish at his best, portraying good men doing bad and bad men doing good, all laying plans for wealth and power in the muddy, oily alley of a tiny ancient town in the middle of everywhere. Because Part I was about triumphant American heroes, the tragedy here is entirely unexpected, despite Trabish's repeated allusions to other stories (Casey At The Bat, Hamlet) that do not end well.
    • In the final section, World War I looms. Baseball takes a back seat to early auto racing and oil-fueled modernity explodes. Love struggles with lust. A cavalry troop collides with an army truck. Here, Trabish has more than tragedy in mind. His lonely, confused young protagonist moves through the horrible destruction of the Romanian oilfields only to suffer worse and worse horrors, until--unexpectedly--he finds something, something a reviewer cannot reveal. Finally, the question of oil must be settled, so the oil industry comes back into the story in a way that is beyond good and bad, beyond melodrama and tragedy.
    • Along the way, Trabish gives readers a greater awareness of oil and how we became addicted to it. Awareness, Paul Roberts said in THE END OF OIL, "...may be the first tentative step toward building a more sustainable energy economy. Or it may simply mean that when our energy system does begin to fail, and we begin to lose everything that energy once supplied, we won't be so surprised."
    • Oil history journal articles by Dr. Trabish: Oil Stories and Histories
    • My Photo
      Location: Agua Dulce, CA

      *Doctor with my hands *Author of the "OIL IN THEIR BLOOD" series with my head *Student of New Energy with my heart






      Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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    • NewEnergyNews


      Hint from Heloise – It’s the pH, stupid!


    • Hint from Heloise – It’s the pH, stupid!
    • July 13, 2008 (DAILY CAMERA)

      Let's say you are flat-out opposed to the notion that human activity is warming the climate. And let's say that somehow your view gets vindicated as the objective truth.

      Then there's no need to shut down any coal plants, right?

      Wrong. We still have to shut down coal plants whether or not they are heating our globe, because atmospheric CO2 is poisoning our oceans through a chemical pathway that's devoid of mystery or controversy; it's called ocean acidification.

      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has estimated that the oceans have absorbed 118 billion metric tons of CO2, about half of the total we've released into the atmosphere, with 20 to 25 million more tons being added daily. While this has guarded us from worse climate impact, the absorbed CO2 has lowered the pH of ocean water a tenth of a unit. The oceans are roughly 30 percent more acidic now than has been true for millions of years, before our species started to specialize in transferring geological carbon into a gas.

      Marine biologists are alarmed that sea creatures will not adapt to the sudden chemical change of their world as the oceans become progressively more acidic. Down the road this new seawater will prevent sea life from forming the calcium compounds needed for vertebrae, shells, plankton, and coral. Shells have literally dissolved off the backs of organisms under the ocean conditions predicted for 2050. Ocean water pH may drop catastrophically in a few decades, not centuries.

      As sea life populations collapse they will be replaced by weeds and jellyfish, yielding ocean life composed mostly of slime.

      It sounds like science fiction except that it's not fiction. "Unlike the situation with other aspects of climate change, there is no controversy over ocean acidification," writes Adrienne Sponberg of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Also self-evident is the traffic jam effect: the acidity is most intense at the oceans' lit up surface, which is where the edible goodies like shrimp, crab and lobster live.

      The science is down to earth; even non-science majors can grasp the chemistry in the kitchen. Club soda, which is CO2 in water (aka carbonic acid), is great for getting stains out of carpets. This acid can be compared with vinegar, the kind you eat in your salad, which can in an hour cut through the shell-like calcium gunk that lines the saucers under our house plants. Or, consider sandstone patios that are marred by lime deposits that rise up like dandelions in the spring. A weak solution of hydrochloric acid (and water) that you can find at any hardware store gets it off -- but if you need it to work really fast, mix a tiny bit of hydrochloric acid into club soda. The bubbles attack the calcium aggressively.

      With terms like carbon forcing, isotopes, volcanic and solar activity, apogees, perigees and cosmic rays all taking part in a complete debate of climate change, most of us trying to figure it out realize, it's too hard. As parents and citizens we are confronted with the call to respond to truly elite knowledge and we are outdone, like Indiana Jones cornered by a sword master majestically showing off his skill.

      But Indiana's got a gun and uses it, cutting through the foe's sophistication with blunt force. That's what ocean acidification does for our understanding: it's a conceptual short cut that tells us bluntly that while we "can debate climate change," we can't adapt to the loss of our oceans' food supply. (Nor can we risk topping off the oceans' carbon sink services.) When it comes to ocean acidification at it fullest extent, there are no upsides, no mystery, no controversy, and no room for failure in how we act.