NewEnergyNews-Butterfield Archive

WALL STREET JOURNAL'S Environmental Capital quotes NewEnergyNews:

  • 06/05/2007
  • --------------------------- ---------------------------

    WALL STREET JOURNAL selects NewEnergyNews as one of the "Blogs We Are Reading" --

  • 05/14/2007
  • 04/16/2007
  • 03/28/2007
  • -------------------


      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.

    • -------------------
    • NewEnergyNews


      The big ka-ching in our health care wallets

      Anne B Butterfield, June 19, 2009 (NewEnergyNews)

      While Americans wonder with noisy drama what the Obama Administration will do to our current health care system, wouldn’t it be great if we could materially reduce the cost of health care in our country by tackling climate change?

      Virtually all of the power for our transportation and electric utilities comes from petroleum, coal, and natural gas, the combustion of which emits the toxins that are heavily involved in costly degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to name a few. Rural or urban, we are sitting in a faint bath of toxic chemicals that can exacerbate our symptoms or hasten acute suffering and death, and when that happens it is a big ka-ching in our health care wallet.

      The emissions and other by products of fossil fuel use are so ubiquitous, and often well hidden, that they slip from our awareness. Their presence and health effects have become “just the way life is.” Here are a few of our fossil fuel chemical friends:

      Nitrous oxide (NOx) is a precursor to smog, that brown smear of ozone and particulate matter that collects over cities under high air pressure conditions. Smog alerts are accompanied by higher than average hospital admissions and deaths.

      Particulate matter excerbates asthma, COPD, bronchitis, cardiac events as well as congestive heart failure. When smog mingles with very small particles (known as PM 2.5) the risk of mortality for men over 65 rises to 24 percent above average; for women of this age the death rate is 80 percent above average.

      Three hundred counties in the US are designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as clean air non-attainment areas, being perpetually outside of the recommended air quality standards. Pass the nebulizer!

      Coal fired power plants emit about a third of all human-caused release of mercury, a neurotoxin so widely spread that women and children are advised to limit their eating of fish. In Colorado one-fifth of waterways have mercury-based fishing advisories.

      Another health cost of using coal as heavily as we do is the ash waste. All over our country, ash waste is dumped in unlined pits in or near the water table. A 2007 report of the EPA found that poorly lined waste sites (60 percent of all) pose a cancer risk through ground water that is 900 times what is acceptable.

      Environmental groups have fought for national standards for the handling of coal ash waste, to keep state officials from competing in a “race to the bottom” for corporate clients’ sake. But rather than put coal waste under the EPA’s regulation, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has just announced that the locations of 44 coal ash dumps cannot be disclosed; their toxicity and precarious engineering make them attractive terrorist targets. Meanwhile two senators are seeking support to make sure that coal ash waste is treated less rigorously than household trash.

      Ontario, Canada released a report finding that each kilowatt hour of coal-fired power creates 12.7 cents of health and environmental effects. The next time you get your electric bill, picture two-thirds of your kilowatt hours each causing 12 cents of medical and other costs. Utilities like to talk about delivering low-cost energy, but that sector’s emissions of known toxins, at 722 million pounds each year, dwarfs all other industrial competitors. A large part of our health care costs belong on our utility bill and other energy related costs.

      California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put it best: “We pay for the fuel we burn but not for the pollution we emit. That pollution causes serious damage to our world, and in the long run, we all pay for it...Imagine if we decided to let everyone dump their garbage on their neighbors' lawns instead of being forced to pay for trash pickup. Sure, it would be cheaper, but it would be disastrous to public health.”

      The climate bill coming through Congress is guaranteed to be inadequate, so our path to the post-fossil fuel era will be long. We should keep up the support for local communities, like Coal River Valley in West Virginia, which is fighting to stop mountain top removal mining, and our own effort in Boulder to rapidly decarbonize our electric supply.