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


      Want a job? Think Wind.

      Anne B Butterfield, May 10, 2009 (Daily Camera)

      New graduates emerging soon from high schools and colleges always want to hitch their wagon to a star -- and the star most visible now on the American horizon is a three-bladed turbine rotor.

      Our new graduates may be glad to know that in this economy that's squalid with bad news, wind power is making jobs like crazy while drawing people and industries together. This was particularly evident at the recent WINDPOWER Conference held this week in Chicago which drew a record breaking 23,000 people, 10,000 more than last year.

      Striding across the millions of square feet of the exhibition hall of the conference, I caught wild glimpses, like a 6-foot diameter ring gear framing the white-blonde heads of men with Danish accents leaning in to chat with developers in cowboy hats, their pointed boots peeking out from good trousers.

      Passing by a man yelling German into his phone, I heard snatches of English on various levels of tech: "The finishing removes asperities while reducing the surface less than a thousandth of an inch and doesn't change the geometry of the gear," and, "We can retrofit commissioned turbines," and, "Hey check out those temperature sensors!"

      Many of the new conference exhibitors were from the auto supply industry, having broadened their mission to serve the wind industry as it rises to the protean task of supplying 20 percent of the nation's energy in the next 20 years.

      Having added eight gigawatts of capacity to the grid in 2008 (a 60 percent surge over the prior year) and inventing 35,000 jobs, the industry is promising to match that contribution again this year.

      While our country is being slammed with plant closings and layoffs, the wind industry is countering by opening plants every few months, with the German company Siemens announcing this week it will open a 300,000 square foot nacelle manufacturing plant in Hutchinson Kansas. Meanwhile the industry is scrambling with community colleges to ramp up degree and certificate programs to produce the sorely needed technicians to work on brand new wind farms.

      "We need welders, pipe fitters, all kids of vocational skills really, and I would gladly pay a few cents per hour on each laborer's work to fund the education of young people to be able to do this work," said Carole Engelder of Horizon Wind, a prominent wind development company based in Texas.

      New technicians need to be ready to work where the wind is and that can mean living in remote locations; they also need to be comfortable in the confined space of a nacelle propped 400 feet in the air. Wind recruits need to love cross-cultural communication because wind energy brings people together from around the world and often plunges them into backcountry areas steeped in proud tradition. Different customers require different approaches.

      To work in manufacturing, strong candidates will have the math skills to grasp tolerances of 2/1000th of an inch on a 14-foot diameter gear, and if they get it wrong that means scrapping the piece.

      These requirements challenge employers to the point of poaching other companies' workers or hiring kids out of training too early.

      College educated candidates will need training in combinations of engineering and physics, finance, business, tax, and law, to seize the toughest creative challenges like transmission, business development and supply chain management. It doesn't hurt to know some Chinese, either, with China opening a huge drive toward wind as well.
      The best chance for Americans to seize these domestic and international jobs is to call Congress and declare "YES on RES" to support the Renewable Electricity Standard that would require a national benchmark of about 20 percent of our power coming from renewables by 2020.

      America better call, because the fossil fuel lobby is paying top dollar to lobbyists to keep business going as usual, and that means more nuclear waste, more toxins from coal, and more hundreds of billions going overseas for oil.

      The conference was spangled with the star power of governors and federal figures cheerleading our renewable energy future. Featured most of all was Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who abandoned oil drilling for the greater promise of energy independence through wind power, with his children and nation in mind. He had this to say to new graduates who are interested in wind: "This is the year that new legislation is coming. So get self-educated about energy to find out what fits you. And on my Web site you'll find the best information anywhere."