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 Big Answer to the Planet’s Peril: It’s All About the Girl

      A Big Answer to the Planet’s Peril: It’s All About the Girl
      Anne Butterfield, January 4, 2009 (Huffington Post)

      Through the din of Copenhagen, and beneath the glitz of Christmas and the tinny horns of the New Year, there is a small voice speaking of hope and truth, in a tiny video playing tirelessly on YouTube. In a parched voice, over the images of so many wind-strewn faces, a girl speaks:

      I dare you to look at me and see only a statistic. Someone you'll never meet --

      a tragedy, a commodity

      A child bride.

      I dare you to look at me

      Without pity, fatigue, dismissal.

      I dare you to look at me

      as more than a poster for your cause

      A promise you won't keep.

      I dare you to rethink

      what it means to look at a girl --

      Not a burden, not an object

      But the answer.

      How audacious, this claim written by Jessica Vacek for the Nike Foundation's campaign to empower girls. The girls of the planet are the answer to the most critical dimension of the world's humanitarian crises, with direct effect on the climate crisis. That dimension is galloping human birth rates.

      Nike's claims go on:

      A girl with 7 years education marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. Her region's HIV rate goes down and malnutrition decreases 43 percent. When 10 percent more girls go to secondary school the country's economy grows three percent. When an educated girl earns an income she reinvests 90% of it in her family, compared to 35 percent for a boy. Yet, over 99 percent of international aid is not directed to her.

      To be clear, the people coming to earth through the galloping birthrates do not lead in greenhouse gas emissions as they use the least fossil fuels per person. But they do amplify the crisis by adding to fossil fuel demand as well as by being too politically weak to fight the most polluting methods of fossil fuel extraction near their homes. They have their own direct use and abuse of the earth's resources, and in the end, they are the vulnerable masses who will migrate away from climate-ravaged areas.

      And their numbers matter, as Boulder's own Professor Al Bartlett has put it most famously: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."

      But we see the math every summer in the humble morning glory. As surely as the rim of the morning glory spreads sumptuously and suddenly beyond its narrow bud, so too population growth can be the sudden multiplier of climate change and the depletion of the earth's bounty.

      The problem boils down to girls not knowing what they can do with their lives apart from tending hearth and giving birth, with many family members enforcing that ignorance by preventing them from getting education. Journalist Michelle Goldberg has observed that "conservatives of all religions see women's equality as a threat to established order while in one society after another, we see the absence of women's rights creating existential dangers." Those dangers spill to environment, public health and even political stability, as noted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

      In the seminal work Half the Sky, about the catastrophe felt by females around the globe, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn commend the effects of micro finance, business planning, literacy and health care for women, concluding that uneducated girls are an untapped gold mine of economic potential and political stability.

      Colorado having so many forms of wealth including affluence, let's consider charities which empower women. Here are a few of the many:

      Based in Louisville, the Colorado Haiti Project supports a center in Haiti's Petit Trou de Nippes with a K-6 school, comprehensive education for reproductive health, and a center teaching women trade and business skills.

      Based in Arkansas, a leader in empowering women for 60 years, Heifer International has been giving the gift of livestock to impoverished people. With a focus on gender equality Heifer trains women in sustainable farming, who in turn train others with the gift of their animals' offspring.

      No less than the fight against extremism is the aim behind Greg Mortenson's campaign to educate teens, particularly girls, through the Central Asia Institute. Conceived during his outsized mountain adventure described in Three Cups of Tea, the Institute's approach is to develop projects that are community based and initiated through consensus.

      At this time of the year and in this point in history, let's refocus when seeing that idealized view of the family, depicted so poignantly in the Christmas nativity scene. Right now, the promise for the earth is not about the wise men, and it's not about the baby. It's about the girl.