Char Miller is the W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College, Claremont CA. His recent books include West Side Rising: How San Antonio’s 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Movement and Not So Golden State: Sustainability Vs. The California Dream. An earlier version of this essay appears in Natural Consequences: Intimate Essays for a Planet in Peril, forthcoming this September.