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


      Come on Baby, Sit by Me

      Come on Baby, Sit by Me
      Anne B. Butterfield, January 25, 2009 (Daily Camera)

      In Boulder we live in a sea of mostly white faces, and with over 70% of us voting for Obama in November, we helped make this Inauguration be a teeming sea of brown, deliriously happy faces. And in the midst of that national group hug, I was there.

      In spite of growing up answering to monikers like “punkinhead”from the African Americans who took care of my family’s home, and going to school with many black students including our new president, my chances of being close with people of color have been the same as most whites’ -- few and far between.

      So it was with excitement that I entered Reagan Airport and its sea of relaxed, happy, brown faces. I was giddy for their initiation to come with this Inauguration, but I was anxious whether the communing would be blunder-free.

      To this day I wince at my blunder trying to befriend a strongly dignified black girl in 7th grade, whom I complimented as I might anyone my age: "Hey Gina you have weird hair". She replied icily that's the hair that black people have and strode away. I was mortified and never spoke with her again.

      In Los Angeles in the 90’s I called out to a woman in a restroom who was heading into trouble; she shot me a dirty look and bustled by. I tapped her again, insistent.

      “What?” she demanded.

      “I am sorry -- but the back of your skirt is tucked into your panty hose!”

      When she saw that all of her rear end was about to be sashayed through a large restaurant, she melted her hands onto my shoulders, saying, "Oh my honeychile, I am sorry!"

      I have stayed leery of the trap door of misunderstanding that creaks beneath all people in inter-racial settings. So when the reservation lady at Super Shuttle at Reagan swooped down to pick up my coat where it had slid to the floor, a gesture that from a black person to a white person might seem a bit too servile, I was hopeful that the times had been a-changin’.

      Gentleness among strangers kept coming through the Inauguration festivities as if the metropolis had been sprinkled with fairy dust. Going to a run-down part of DC for National Service Day, I was led nine blocks by a young white woman who I met on the bus. Then, waiting at the bus stop to return, I was exhorted by an older black man about the values he’d been teaching in his “hood”. To every black male passerby he bellowed, “To God be the Glory!”

      On a previous night my friend Kellie and I landed up at the wrong Smithsonian building in search of that night’s ball, and in our fussing over finery forgot our papers. With much effort the staff tracked down our ball and when it was known to be several blocks away, a building engineer named Vaughn Judd offered take us there. We thought he would walk us a bit and point it out. No. He drove us right to the door in his outsized pick up truck.

      On Inauguration, Day I spied a Metro seat next to a woman who had splayed out her belongings; I asked her about it, as it would be the last sit for a long day. Dressed in seven shades of red down to her oversized glasses, she said, “Come on Baby, sit by me.” She told me about her grandchildren, her health issues, her journey from South Carolina. I told her about mountaintop removal mining and the pollution that comes with flicking on the lights. She had me write down notes for her of my reminders.

      Where we exited at L’Enfant Plaza, movement in the crush of bodies soon came to a halt. Fully packed trains sped through in search of space to unload. We were several thousand people jammed wall to wall in a dimly lit crypt. An announcement implored us not to push as there was a medical emergency ahead. Twenty minutes later no movement. A few began a chant of Let Us Go, and an elder man gave his sonorous voice to warn us to quell any sort of panic. A woman was led up beside me crying with chest pains. Another woman collapsed. An elderly woman fell into the track behind us. It was a full hour until we trudged up two stories worth of paralyzed escalator stairs to the open street.

      Out on the Mall, the crowds were every bit as tight. But the air was open and the cold was tempered by our packed bodies. Men let women lean up on their shoulders, binoculars were passed around, and women took turns stepping up on barricades to gain height. I was completely unconcerned about my wallet in my pack on my back. Among the 1.8 million people there, no arrests came that day. Our numbers made for danger in the most packed spaces, but each person assured safety and welcome.

      Elizabeth Alexander’s poem foretold the esprit de corps: “In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun…walking forward in that light.”