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


      Tort reform: Go big, Obama!

      Tort reform: Go big, Obama!
      Anne B. Butterfield, September 14, 2009 (NewEnergyNews)

      President Obama and Democrats: flummox and rearrange your opposition. Go big on medical malpractice reform.

      The nod the president gave to the cause of tort reform in his address to Congress would begin in what he termed "a few pilot projects" as once described George W. Bush. Republicans who were slumped in their seats, some glowering into Blackberries, rose up to give wildly approving applause. But what would really cause Republicans to rethink their existence would be if Democrats went after tort reform loudly to the effect of taking this pet cause away from them.

      Vigorous tort reform from the Democrats would be like taking the surfboards away from Republicans and turning up the waves. The strong could get back to a board and surf, but the weak would flail and drown. The Dems needs to impose this disruption on a party whose chairman Michael Steele barked, "I don`t do policy" when asked if he felt it was right for all Americans to be required to pay for insurance. A party that snoozed on the chance to reform health care when it had the majority and now panders to deathers and birthers.

      For these mad dogs baying, their cause needs to be stolen and their bluff needs to be called.

      According to Republican talking points, and there is research to back up the hype, there are billions of dollars per year wasted in "defensive medicine," that practice in which doctors order marginally or wholly unneeded tests, procedures and hospital admissions, to protect against a later suit. Up to a quarter of health care costs are "defensive," and some research says they could tally $200 billion per year. So claims conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer.

      Into that treasure trove of financial value a smart liberal should say: "Drill baby drill."

      "Anyone who denies there is a crisis in medical malpractice is probably a trial lawyer," said Barack Obama in 1996. Trial lawyers have long been the ally of Democrats, but, in the estimation of Bob Beckel, Walter Mondale`s campaign manager, they would have nowhere to go if the Democrats reduced their hunting grounds through malpractice reform.

      American medical negligence is the most hazardous in the developed world with around 195,000 unnecessary deaths per year. All of our docs` super costly defensive medicine hasn`t given us good results.

      Some cling to the notion that the way to improve outcomes from doctors is to sue them for errors. In reality, dangerous doc`s should be censured or expelled by an authoritative body. Some suggest that medical complaints be heard by expert "medical courts" which can quickly award damages on a predictable scale to patients and families -- and for the community would reprimand or strip the license from dangerous doctors.

      For me this is familiar story: When my mom had a needle biopsy to find the meaning of a shadow in her lung, the doctor failed to get a medically diagnostic sample. So when he said to her, "I have good news and bad -- you don`t have cancer, also, I collapsed your lung so you have to stick around," he had no basis for saying the former, and he failed to use the latter to get a proper sample. He wrote her warrant to an early and merciless death, and wrote himself a ticket to a whopping malpractice suit. But my mom decided she "doesn`t dance on worms" and simply wrote him up for the state`s medical board and died in peace. He was reprimanded, put on probation, and the decisiveness of the process proved useful when auditors later questioned her estate.

      Not only is it silly to talk about lowering costs of care without medical malpractice reform -- we probably cannot get greenhouse gas emissions under control without tort reform. Businesses and municipal governments think they cannot turn down the lights for fear an intruder will sue for their ankle sprained in the dark.

      The threat of suit has been robbing our society with a paper gun for decades making trial lawyers a parasitic force in our economy. How far we have come from the brave and self-reliant people who founded this country. All of this has to change, as well as our caustic political landscape.