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


      Denial Is Rising

      Paddling Down the River Denial
      Anne Butterfield, January 12, 2011 (Huffington Post)

      "We are the most obese, most in debt, most medicated and most addicted adults in human history. We're also the busiest. We take less vacations, we work longer hours and we sleep less than anyone who came before us," says Brene Brown of University of Houston, newly famous for this whopper critique of American life made in a TED video in which she dissects shame and authenticity.

      She explains this frenzy of addictive behavior as a way for people to numb themselves against shame, which she calls the fear that one is not worthy of connection or inclusion.

      Such a familiar story by now. To feel "okay" we go deep into debt, often spending on ego pursuits like oversized homes, cars and weddings; then there's gambling, gaming, drinking, drugs and emotional eating and shopping. Often we wind up depressed and medicated when the results from these choices aren't what we like.

      Throngs among us are, also, in monstrous denial of the greatest consequences that comes with this getting and spending that has laid low our economy and public health. That denial, beat into the American mind by campaigns funded by certain industries and media, persists among voters and politicians despite the increasingly obvious reality.

      click to enlarge

      We are over-consuming and despoiling our world. Many continue to numb themselves from facing the quickly worsening condition of our climate.

      Even the news is in on the denial this year, under-reporting climate science to the point that researchers from Drexel University and University of Colorado have quantified the nosedive.

      2010 saw extraordinary weather catastrophes, yet the obvious link to climate change has been denied by all Republican leaders and tea party candidates. Most visible of late is the about-face of the new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, who recently opined in the Wall Street Journal that climate may not need to be addressed through policy, even though his website recently stated that "everything should be on the table" to reduce carbon emissions.

      Let us count just a few catastrophes that should give Upton and the new climate-denying Congress pause:

      click to enlarge

      Such as the rains of biblical proportions that assailed northeast Australia, inundating a region the size of the southeast United States, bringing the regional economy to its knees.

      Note also the horrendous rains that wiped out the living quarters of 8 million people in Pakistan as well as much of the nation's infrastructure (after dire temperatures up to 128 degrees.)

      Note the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 lasting about two months and killing at least 11,000 people. It brought temperatures of 99°F to Moscow with smoke from wildfires blanketing the city for a week, with carbon monoxide at about 7 times the safe level.

      Note Tennessee's "Katrina" and the two Snowmaggedon events on the east coast that book-ended 2010 and are explainable by climate change's effects on weather patterns and increased atmospheric moisture.

      Yet pundits use snowstorms to deny climate science like the ditzy girl who whines, "I can't be overdrawn, I still have checks!"

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      Perversely, newspapers have dropped the ball on climate change too. Max Boykoff, of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, has reported that climate reporting done in catastrophic 2010 was on par with the amount of climate reporting done way back in 2005 -- before An Inconvenient Truth and great blue expanses of sea made the arctic ice cap look small in 2007.

      If news editors believed that weather catastrophes were unrelated, they have no excuse.

      Climate science has outlined worsening weather for decades, and nineteen nations, comprising 20 percent of the earth's surface, saw record-breaking heat events in 2010.

      Every citizen and consumer has some power to ameliorate this so long as they can see they are wasting fossil fuels and should start to get active about supporting clean energy.

      So newspapers should keep up with climate news.

      To add insult to injury, Congress has ignored alarming news out of science organizations.

      The journal Nature published findings that higher temperatures have led to a 40 percent die off of phytoplankton, that teeny sea creature that forms the base of the oceans' food web and creates half of the world's oxygen. Most alarming, the National Science Foundation released a report this past March, well in time for the Senate to consider it in a meaningful climate bill, that stores of methane locked under Siberia's permafrost are bubbling up from the thawed depths.

      click to enlarge

      Even last February, the Pentagon, to which the Republican Party heaps all manner of honor and funding, warned strongly about climate change's powers to weaken governments. Yet the Republican Party has moved straight away from all warning like children hiding under a blanket. It's already weakening ours -- through psychological denial. Let's see if we can awaken Congress and the press in 2011.

      But we are up against tough odds. On a new show called My Strange Addiction, twenty year old Samantha goes to a dermatologist to see about her skin damage after years of spending at least 60 minutes a day in tanning beds. When he tells her a litany of issues including early death to consider from this self abuse, he admits that today she has no melanoma. And she skips out of the clinic a happy girl.

      That's the American mind on denial -- light as a lark thinking, "Today I haven't been wiped out by climate change, so today I don't change a thing!"

      Versions of this appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera and target="_blank"the Huffington Post