This is a humble place, reached by car in the high desert. It's a quiet place, inhabited by people with a job to do: bringing nature back into balance, harmonizing the life of the planet and, if things go according to plan, transforming the world. Framing the scene are distant mountains, threaded with power lines carrying coal-fired energy for the neon lights and leaping water fountains of Las Vegas.

It's an undeniably panoramic but otherwise unprepossessing place to put the center of the world. This article was written by David Armstrong in the San Francisco Chronicle.