California is in a dire, years-long drought and The New York Times is on it. After Governor Jerry Brown announced the state's first mandatory water restrictions earlier this month, the paper ran a feature on how California might change in the face of non-negotiable environmental pressures, illustrated at the top with a surreal photo (by Damon Winter) of a mansion and pool on a green square of land, surrounded on all sides by sandy desert, and beyond that, the edges of a suburban-style housing tract. It's a perfect illustration if you want to show that Californians are space-hungry, careless with natural resources, and indifferent to their environment. The story behind the synthetic oasis does not disappoint.
The symbolic home has an equally symbolic Rancho Mirage address. >>