Learning to See California’s Vanishing Water

The recent New York Times article, “Apocalyptic Schadenfreude” (https://medium.com/matter/let-it-rain-ac793178d51c ), written by Steven Johnson, shows how coverage of the California drought is driven in part by an historical narrative of paradise lost.  A common thread connecting much of the news coverage is a tale of hedonism and corruption, and the defiance of nature, followed by just deserts. In the case of the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/california-drought-tests-history-of-endless-growth.html), aerial photography captures the unreal green of golf courses and suburban housing tracts surrounded by a menacingly arid moonscape of rock and sand.



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Professor of Art History, School of Art, University of Arizona. Master's swimmer.

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