By February 23, 2015 2 Comments Read More →


AustriaThe Sunday night Oscars paid tribute to The Sound of Music‘s 50th anniversary, and it was wonderful to see the very gracefully aged Julie Andrews and to hear her distinctive clipped English again.

Traveling through Austria recently, everyone in our party was all Gaga about The Sound of Music.  Oohs and ahs about Maria and the Von Trapp family, the movie, the scenery, the unforgettable music. I took  this video of Elizabeth Von Trapp, granddaughter of Maria, singing those familiar songs in the chapel of the Salzburg Palace. Nice.  IPhones are really something.

Modern Austria is also interesting.

  • Clean, efficient, and moving toward total energy independence by 2030, Austria is demonstrating what government long-range planning  can accomplish. The country rejected nuclear power years ago, and although they still import most of their oil and gas from Russia, they are sold on wind and biomass energy.  Being a nation which is covered by forests, wood pellets fuel smoke free boilers in Alpine villages.  After all, wind and forests are renewable supplies and cheap as well.  And, most of all, they will not be indebted to the Russian Bear.  Ukraine is suffering from that condition now.  Hungary is being very careful to not give offense as well.
  • However, what caught my attention, the Austrians are considering exporting their abundant water to Spain and Greece.  Shipped in pipelines or by huge tankers, the country is divided on whether they should share their water with other countries. However if the European Water Network happens, it will be to water what OPEC is to oil.
  • Canada, actually British Columbia, had the same thought.  Plans were made with a Texas company to build a fleet of supertankers to transport  Canadian waters to places like California, but the Canadian government halted the initiative.  Sitka, Alaska is exploring the idea  of shipping their remarkable glacial water  to China.

Back to Austria of old, I could not observe the neat picturesque Alpine villages or historically gorgeous Salzsburg or the cordial welcome given to us Americans without remembering the Mauthausen-Gusen labor concentration camps which exterminated over 200,000 souls and specifically targeted the well educated, the intelligentsia of those opposed to the Nazis.  Those camps were scattered all through those picturesque villages and the beautiful countryside.

Now remembering why the Von Trapp family had to “Climb Every Mountain” and leave Austria.

  CircleBen-02_100x115Ben said,  “As we must account for every idle word,  so must we account for every idle silence.”


About the Author:

I am an observer of our interesting world , sharing my passions and my outrages, and thinking of Incredible Ben, his amazing blending of a social and civic life with superb common sense.

2 Comments on "Edelweiss"

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  1. Saira says:

    Great video! I wish America would follow Austria’s lead and aspire to be energy independent as well. Ben’s lovely quote could apply to our impending environmental crisis as well–our idle silence is deafening.

    • Cam says:

      So true! Europe seems to be ahead of us in environmental awareness. I notice that a German company has a pellet plant near our country home. They cut East Texas trees and ship to Germany for fuel. They have become very aware of the devastation of their forests…

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