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


      Nukes: the position ridiculous and the expense damnable


    • Nukes: the position ridiculous and the expense damnable
    • June 29, 2008 (DAILY CAMERA)

      "The nuclear power that we have invariably gotten from the Washington sausage machine demands licenses without an impartial licensing process, public acquiescence without public involvement, spent fuel without a waste repository, multi-billion dollar projects without analysis of alternatives, nearly separated plutonium (per the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership) without adequate safeguards -- in short, a renaissance without masterpieces." -- Peter A. Bradford, former Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and senior utility commissioner. June 2007.

      A vocal group of people in Boulder, and columnist Bob Greenlee in particular, have been crying out for a nuclear energy renaissance to stop the flow of carbon emissions now heating our globe. Some of these proponents even rant: "Anyone who doesn't want nuclear energy shows that they aren't serious about climate change."

      Nuclear power has no carbon emissions! It's proven, and safe! Uh, well, never mind the oil-intensive efforts of mining and reprocessing uranium, or the chlorofluorocarbons coming out of refinement, or the transport of waste out to Yucca Mountain for burial.

      Do we have mad hatters opining on mercury here? Why do conservatives like those at the Heritage Foundation complain about the subsidies going in to renewable energy like wind and solar, but love nuclear energy, which is nothing if not a pathway to socialized energy?

      And the costs and subsidies of nuclear energy need to be weighed. The Economist Magazine observed, "Nuclear power, once claimed to be too cheap to meter is now too costly to matter." This riposte came out before the recent cost escalation of power plant construction as cement, steel and copper skyrocketed. Nuclear Engineering International Magazine published construction costs for nuclear plants ranging from $1,400/kw up to $6,000/kw installed.

      The electrical power from nukes has been subsidized in recent years between 1-5c per kwh, and in 2005 it was raised to 5-9c per kwh for new plants. These new subsidies (along with loan guarantees that protect the Wall Street investors from construction delays and run ups) still do not entice investors such as Warren Buffet who recently got out of a nuclear project because it did not make economic sense. Buffet likes to invest in true free market scenarios, eschewing industries like the airlines, which are hammered by costs run up by regulation and unions.

      Our local Rocky Mountain Institute issued an insightful report, "Forget Nuclear" revealing that what really matters is the most affordable way to displace coal power. Nuclear ranks sixth out of the seven options in the study, the most cost effective ones being end-use efficiency and recovered heat cogeneration. The cheaper modes (wind, gas turbines, cogen etc.) are more quickly deployed than nuclear, also they do not demand the excessive water of nuclear energy. Just last year the drought in the Southeast caused reactors to be shut down temporarily in Alabama and North Carolina for lack of cooling water.

      Dr. Marty Hoerling of NOAA has outlined the high likelihood of long range drought afflicting the West as the planet warms. With our sun and wind and great technologies like thermal storage for dispatchable solar power, I don't see how we can justify nuclear here. Some complain that CSP's storage is not proven -- but it's certainly more proven than nuclear waste management.

      Peter Bradford says it best: "Those who assert, 'Nuclear energy just may be the energy source that can save our planet from catastrophic climate change,' are inviting us into a dangerous la-la land in which nuclear power will be oversubsidized and underscrutinized while more promising and quicker responses to climate change are neglected."

      The RMI study can be read at Rocky Mountain Institute and a complete report on subsidies can be downloaded from EarthTrack.