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


      Taken for granted no more

      Taken for granted no more
      Anne Butterfield, February 5, 2012 (Daily Camera)

      It's been an explosive week for women's reproductive health with two events reaching new depths of outrageousness and a third prompting pundits to call on a silent voting bloc to defend its practices on contraception.

      The biggest story of the week was the Susan G. Komen Foundation stripping Planned Parenthood of its grants for breast cancer screening on the stated reason of Planned Parenthood undergoing a Congressional investigation. Komen's new vice president, Karen Handel, is a known conservative political force who swore opposition to Planned Parenthood for its 3 percent of services going to abortion.

      Yet, before week's end we who were outraged at Komen and vocal about it saw a reversal of the decision. Komen announced that their new policy will sanction only those facing "criminal and conclusive investigations."

      If only Republicans advocating for smaller government would heed such pared down parameters. In five state houses Republicans have passed laws that should make critics of Obamacare blush: requirements for vaginal-probe sonograms on women on the day ahead of abortions. This is rationalized as an informed consent measure, though I for one have not seen this degree of intrusion before for my two lung surgeries, and a call to an abortion counselor (asking to be unnamed) revealed that the vast majority of abortions have no medical need of a vaginal ultrasound (as topical ultrasounds are routine). So this measure smacks of the long arm of the law reaching into a woman's most private place to deliver ideology, with the doctor also being used against medical tradition and practice. American women, ask: whose uterus do these small government folks think it is -- the woman's or the state's?

      Since this drama has reached Kafkaesque absurdity, state senator Janet Howell of Virginia attached a protest amendment to a sonogram bill moving through her state house, a measure requiring men also to undergo a bodily probe ahead of getting erectile dysfunction medication. Her amendment lost by an impressively small margin with 13 male senators in support.

      All's fair in love and war, so social conservatives are also feeling the pain, due to the Obama Administration's Department of Health and Human Services having stated that Catholic institutions serving and employing the public must adhere equally to rules of the Affordable Care Act granting women equal access to birth control with no co-pays.

      The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had asked for a conscience clause, complaining that they cannot be made to pay for birth control. Meanwhile 98 percent of sexually active Catholics are said by the Guttmacher Institute to use birth control, meaning that the laity and the clergy of the church have radically opposing views of how to populate a family and maintain women's health.

      Catholic leaders doth protest too much in squawking on behalf of their religious freedom, suggests Jon O'Brien of Catholics for Choice -- whose stand is that the conscience of women rules. The church has failed to convince Catholics in the pews, so the clergy should own that failure rather than attempt to control distribution channels that impute extra costs to insured women who are often not even Catholic.

      On the politics, Chris Matthews on "Hardball," said that Catholics like him are swing voters and Obama has blown his chance with them. However Jon O'Brien says his group and its allies "expended a huge amount of resources mobilizing the public on this pivotal issue" of no co-pay birth control. And with Joan Walsh of Salon advising fellow Catholics to "preach what they practice" and defend the president, we shall see if Catholics defend their widespread practices or remain hiding in the shadows.

      Crises are times for taking action when comfortable practices can no longer be taken for granted. Planned Parenthood was gifted with nearly a million dollars in 24 hours of the Komen news, and also won a reversal -- good. More importantly we all need to see that protecting women's health where it intersects with reproductive freedom (not to mention a sound doctor-patient relationship) is no longer a spectator sport. We need to be activists, because as the right wing dreams of personhood amendments, flirts with banning birth control, and legislates body probes, we see that the American Taliban wears a prim sweater vest and expensive suits, with hopes to attract million-dollar super PAC's.