Beauty of the Alps

On the 14th of January my wife and I were present for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s playing of the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss. It was truly a unique experience. The Symphony played the beautiful music of the Alpine Symphony while pictures of the Alps were being shown on a big screen behind the symphony. It was well timed so that the pictures shown matched the pace and volume of the symphony. The pictures were taken by Tobias Melle.

The music was worth the price of the ticket by itself, but the pictures reminded me of the time my wife and I saw the Austrian Alps at Innsbruck, Austria. The actual visit to the 7,000 foot plateau of the mountains was stunning as were the pictures being shown on the big screen at the Symphony.  

This Symphony tribute to the Alpine mountains reminded me of one of the Earth Charter principles I usually do not give sufficient time and thought. It reads as follows: “Secure Earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations.”

When we visited the Alps at Innsbruck, I was aware of how little human intrusion had taken place at 7,000 feet. Only the cable car landing and one small restaurant obstructed the breath taking views. As I was awed by the combination of the music and pictures, I hoped that the area we visited was still as undeveloped as it was then.

Imagine with me if we took the approach of the Austrians. What if instead of the being in a hurry to build new projects in our city, we set aside land no longer being used for parks and vegetable gardens. Not only would more safe and healthy food be available, but more green space would be created in our city.

Not far from our house is a site that a developer wanted to turn into a 100 apartment complex with first floor retail. The argument put forth by the developer was that the neighborhood needed more people in the area to support the IndyGo Red Line. A better alternative, according to the Earth Charter, would be a mini-park or a vegetable garden. Yes, I know that people need to learn to grow their own food, but what better way than local gardens.

Additional green space is more earth friendly than another apartment complex. The good news is the neighborhood organized and prevented the proposed development. We are working to prevent the second developer from harming our neighborhood. Now is the time to be brave and resist all attempts to harm the beauty and bounty of Mother Earth.  

For our all our neighbors, family and friends;

John Drake



Our friends from Hoosier Environmental Council are teaming up with our friends from Carmel Green Initiative to stage a Sustainable Living Seminar with a focus on climate change, Feb. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Carmel Clay Public Library. Go here for more info.

Earth Charter