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


      A new migratory pattern: Colorado youth go to Washington

      Anne B. Butterfield, March 12, 2009

      Like swallows arriving at San Juan Capistrano from Argentina, thousands of young activists flew in from around the world to the Powershift Conference in Washington DC early this month. Since 2007 they have flocked there to nourish their minds, tell their stories and lobby their representatives to change the world toward sustainability and clean energy. After all, it’s their world, which is under the threat of acidic oceans and climate change, that they intend to secure.

      Reaching over twelve thousand in number, they rivaled the attendance of the largest ever renewable energy conference -- WindPower ‘08 in Houston which drew 13,000, as well as the Solar Power ‘08 conference in San Diego which drew 12,000. They provided the political muscle to match what investors are offering on the business end. This is a blow-out for clean energy compared with the last Clean Coal Conference, in Clearwater Florida which drew 300 registrants.

      Visualize college kids in standing room only for a panel talk on cap-and-trade vs. cap-and-dividend, or a session on natural gas supplies that went over time by 30 minutes due to prolonged questions, and full attendance all around was in action for the 9 am morning sessions on Saturday. This is motivation.

      Beware of young people who become early birds in pursuit of their goals – they will not only get the worm, they are likely to skewer it. And from our laid-back nest of Colorado, we delivered 50 souls to Powershift to build up advocacy skills to match their proven energy.

      Jesi Vandeputte, a Master’s candidate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at CU, was galvanized by lobbying. “Representative Jared Polis was so in tune with our opinions. We were under-prepared, we realized, because we went to convince him to lead in a way that he's leading now. Our big take-home is he needs our help, so we are going to go back in the fall prepared to lobby some of his opponents.”

      Victoria Watson-Nava, 23, a senior at CSU-Pueblo and an activist for a very Latino network, Democracia, added a deeply global perspective. “At Powershift we explored how racism, segregation, and lack of social justice have exacerbated the industrialization, capitalism, and individualism in our nation. There is great despair that exists between social classes; not only have we lost our connectivity to the Earth but also with each other. We have fallen into the addiction of filling our lives with consumer pleasure at the expense of exploiting other peoples, their countries and resources. When we throw something "away", we are throwing "away" people, a forest, a river, an ecosystem.”

      Another such soul was Dan Omasta, age 21, who is involved in several environmental groups through the University of Colorado and beyond. He reflected measured excitement on the decision by House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to switch the Capitol’s steam plant from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas:

      “Although the plant will be switching to a less-polluting resource, natural gas is still a finite commodity and has significant consequences where it is extracted, including the Roan Plateau here in Colorado!”

      The decision was reached before a planned protest was held at the plant, which proceeded with 2,500 protesters and no arrests. Dan Omasta said it symbolized more than a protest on one coal plant “it is a parable for the necessity to place a moratorium on all new coal plants -- and to stop the Comanche 3 plant about to open in Pueblo!”

      When Colorado’s beloved Ken Salazar, now Secretary of the Interior, addressed the crowd and called for thousands of young people to “resurrect the treasured landscapes of America in a new student conservation corps like the world has never seen,” the room erupted with applause for almost two whole minutes, according to Omasta.

      When Ken Salazar can bring down the house, you know the world has changed. The passion and vision shared by all at Powershift were palpable and contagious, with connections being forged among the generations.

      As we have seen with the success of the Obama campaign, young people can and will spread the seed of new thought and energy into their parents’ homes and now the halls of Congress. And as we recall from the ‘60’s, those who oppose the young cohort carelessly can be met with something out of a Hitchcock film. The motivated young are not to be messed with.

      The key speeches can be found at Jenkins-Sights and Sounds