How many people huddling on couches in Buffalo or Duluth will watch Super Bowl XXX on TV and ask themselves, Am I nuts? If you're going to live in extreme temperatures, you might as well get a tan. Anyway, how bad could it be? In Scottsdale, city leaders have placed a sign at the foot of the Green Acres Mortuary that reads, WELCOME TO SCOTTSDALE, MOST LIVABLE CITY.
Growth is a way of life here—even inside Bio II. When Zabel walks a guest through his hermetically sealed universe, it feels just like being outside. "Over there are mangrove trees," says Zabel as he gropes through a rain forest on his way to a 25-foot-deep ocean. "If you look closely you can see the coral reef where some of the crew liked to scuba." He climbs up a cliff and onto a savannah, and then he makes off toward the livestock area. "Just about anything can live, can grow, inside this complex," he says.
But off in a corner, what is that? An overgrown area of unkempt weeds and shrubs resembling no distinct ecosystem at all. A melange of biomes. What exactly is that supposed to be? Zabel fidgets. "That's a desert that is not a desert anymore," he answers. "It became more of a shrubland due to...."
He stops, sighs. He bows his head to something that is by design defiant and is defiant to design. "We just didn't have much success growing a desert."