Oneʻula / Hau Bush / ʻEwa Marina


OUT TO DRY At ‘EWA MARINA: ancient sites are being bulldozed to make way for a Hawai‘i Kai-like development

[Note: this was published as the Honolulu Weekly cover story on 6/17/98]

by Jan Becket

Along one of the few remaining undeveloped stretches of O‘ahu shoreline, cadences of an ancient chant reverberated one morning at sunrise. Several dozen Hawaiians gathered at One‘ula Beach Park March 4 and again on April 4 for what organizers described as a celebration of shrines at One‘ula. But the gathering was also a memorial service for those that were recently bulldozed.

Participants immersed themselves in the ocean in a hi‘u wai, a purification ceremony, and then chanted to the rising sun. After a short break, they gathered for a ceremonial procession to present ho‘okupu, offerings, at coral structures they regard as ahu, or shrines, in a nearby kiawe forest.

Preservationists gathered again at the site on Memorial Day for a rally at sunset. Not far from the shrines, dozens of fishing poles sprout each weekend from the coral ledge, where at low tide, people gather he‘e, octopus, or special varieties of limu for which the area is famous. A reef submerged a few feet below the water stretches out 50 yards in spots. Farther out, a second reef keeps large swells at bay and helps create ideal surf breaks.

Along the shore, growing out of an exposed ancient reef, are strands of hau, kou, milo and naio. At one spot a few yards inland from the ocean is an ancient puna wai — a spring, its sides lined with bricks placed there earlier in the century. It offers testimony to generations of fishermen and gatherers stretching back to antiquity.

A quarter-mile inland, however, bulldozers push each day into the fringe of kiawe forest between the shore and abandoned cane fields, destroying the shrines, pushing the rocks aside and leveling the land.

Haseko, a large Japan-owned multinational development firm, plans to transform this quiet spot into a place strikingly similar to Hawai‘i Kai, complete with a marina dredged a quarter-mile inland, fringed by a golf course and upscale homes.

Grading permits are in place, allowing the bulldozing that topples the once-revered coral structures. Still to be resolved is a court case over a permit that would allow Haseko to dredge through the reef, into caprock that protects the ‘Ewa fresh water aquifer. Recently, the state Supreme Court halted the permitting process over a technicality — Hawaiian gathering rights — but Haseko is reapplying for the permit. And the leveling continues.

The 1995 City & County ‘Ewa Development Plan Report describes the project in glowing terms: “The master-planned ‘Ewa Marina project includes a mix of uses taking advantage of the open space vistas and recreational opportunities offered by an extensive small boat marina and a golf course … In its entirety, the ‘Ewa Marina will occupy approximately 1,100 acres located between ‘Ewa Beach and Barbers Point Naval Air Station. The project will be centered around a 100-acre marina, which will serve as a major recreational resource and visual amenity.”

The ‘Ewa Development Plan Report acknowledges this area’s rich concentration of Hawaiian sites by identifying the Haseko Marina project area as the “One‘ula Archaeological District.” Fifty-three sites, containing 334 identified features, cover the project area. But the report does not comment on the sites there, or explain the transition from archaeological district to Marina.

Concerns raised by some native Hawaiian groups temporarily halted bulldozing this spring around one small complex of 44 features right in the middle of the proposed waterway, designated as section “3215” in the project’s archaeological report. Here, a forest of grass and kiawe sheltered a group of sites that included platforms, mounds, c-shaped structures, cleared areas, and some upright unique stones, all classified in the archaeological report as a “temporary habitation – agricultural complex.”

Haseko ended the moratorium on bulldozing during the week of May 11-15. Most of these structures are now gone, although some Hawaiians continued to visit and honor the handful of stones that remain, just yards from the vast areas now stripped of vegetation and of any evidence that ancient Hawaiians lived there.

“Among those sites were shrines of tremendous cultural value to all Hawaiians,” commented Rev. Kaleo Patterson, director of the Hawai‘i Ecumenical Coalition.

Differences between archaeologists and native Hawaiians have given rise to the controversy, causing some to recall Kukuiokåne Heiau, and numerous sites in Hålawa Valley, all destroyed by the H-3 freeway.

Having gone through a lengthy process of soliciting community input and holding numerous hearings, however, Haseko expresses alarm at the work stoppage.

Haseko Spokesperson Perry White commented, “No one could have chosen an area to become concerned about more sure to derail the marina project. There is no way to work around this area.”

Patterson acknowledges that Haseko has “jumped through all the right legal hoops.” But he and others in the Coalition are taking on the uphill battle against the Marina, and in the process questioning a “culturally-insensitive historic review process that seems designed to carefully filter Hawaiian input.”

Patterson wants the planning process opened up to the Hawaiian community. In this case, he wants the Marina halted if there is a conflict between saving the shrines and dredging for the marina.

“Haseko and the State Office of Historic Preservation are using a set of ground rules that treats Hawaiian sites and Hawaiian culture as expendable,” Patterson said. “We see a much bigger picture.”

In support of his position, Patterson refers to Public Law 101-275, a federal statute known as the “Hate Crimes Statistics Act.” The Act applies to prejudice based on race or religion that manifests itself in the “destruction, damage or vandalism of property.”

The Hawai‘i Ecumenical Coalition sent a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno on April 17, noting that her office used the Act to investigate the burning of Black churches in the South and the vandalism of Punchbowl Cemetery. “Yet for generations many religious shrines and the burial places of our ancestors have not only been vandalized but have been destroyed by developers with little or no attention given by the U.S. Department of Justice,” the letter states. “The destruction of religious shrines at One‘ula for the commercial development of the ‘Ewa Marina Community Project’ … is but the latest manifestation of these ongoing crimes.”

At the center of the controversy were a half dozen stones, each two to six feet tall, and until recently, each still standing centuries after it was placed. Each appears to have been selected with some care, perhaps for an unusual shape. These uprights often stand on or near a small area paved with ‘ili‘ili (small coral stones).

Because no lava stones are available in the region, these stones, the small platforms or paving next to them and all the other stones in the complex are made of coral, the same coral that stretches inland for up to five miles on the ‘Ewa plain, which was under 25 feet of water 130,000 years ago. The fact that the sites are made of coral adds to their value: The Kumolipo, the Hawaiian creation chant, identifies coral as the first form of life.

In fact, no extensive emerged seabeds exist on any of the other Hawaiian islands; on O‘ahu itself, vast complexes of Hawaiian coral sites have already been destroyed in recent times by the construction of the Barbers Point Deep Draft Harbor, Ko‘olina Resort and Campbell Industrial Park.

Scattered complexes remain on Barber’s Point itself, but none lie along the seashore as they do at One‘ula, and few of them incorporate upright coral stones. The sites at One‘ula, with their numerous standing stones, were among the very last Hawaiian coral seashore structures left anywhere, on any island.

This particular place may have even more significance: The name “One‘ula,” which can mean “red sand” in a literal translation, also means “sacred sands” because of the association of the color red with the chiefs and the gods in traditional Hawaiian culture.

Cultural Anthropologist and historian Marion Kelly has had 40 years of field experience, and worked closely at the Bishop Museum with some of the founders of modern Hawaiian archaeology: E.S. Craighill Handy, Mary Kawena Pukui, Catherine Summers and Kenneh Emory. Kelly comments, “I have been to many, many places over the decades, but have never seen such a dense concentration of shrines as exists at One‘ula. Each one appears slightly different. Some uprights may have been selected to represent the god of fishermen, Kü‘ula, some may have served as pōhakuokāne, or family shrines, some may have been to encourage gourd or sweet potato cultivation, and others may have been for experts in the various crafts or professionals who appealed for guidance.”

Marion Kelly at Oneʻula in 1994. Next to her is a structure in area 3215 with an upright stone – probably a fishing shrine. Like almost all other such structures at Oneʻula, it was identified as a “temporary habitation” in the archaeological report submitted prior to the bulldozing.

Archaeologist Rowland Reeve, who has worked extensively on Kaho‘olawe, agrees: “During my relatively brief visit to the area I saw at least one upright stone set atop a small platform of coral. On Kaho’olawe, we would consider a structure like that to be a ko’a (fishing shrine).”

The archaeological report prepared for Haseko by Paul Rosendahl and Associates asserts that this was merely a temporary habitation site, and suggests that Hawaiians using the area must have come to the seashore only at certain seasons, and then returned to permanent homes in the Ko‘olau mountains. Kelly disagrees, pointing to the extensive complex of sites, the availability of water and the abundant marine resources nearby as evidence of permanent habitation. She also points out that by dismissing the sites as “temporary habitations,” the archaeologist’s report minimizes their significance and thus aids their ultimate destruction.

“This is not a neutral, objective piece of culturally-sensitive research,” Kelly comments. “It is a classic example of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ archaeology.”

A strongly-worded letter sent in late February to the State Office of Historic Preservation resulted in a temporary agreement with Haseko to halt the bulldozing of sites in area 3215. “We … decry this desecration of Hawaiian history, culture and religion and call for the protection of religious and historical sites at One‘ula, so that future generations may rekindle their connections to this land and learn from the works of their ancestors,” wrote the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches, representing 18 Hawaiian churches, and Hawai‘i Ecumenical Coalition.

Marion Kelly asked that all new clearing be halted until the sites could be assessed. In a March 3 letter sent to the State Historic Preservation Division, Kelly and four others asserted that the area contained significant cultural features not acknowledged in the initial report.

The State Historic Preservation Office revisited the same features, however, and came to different conclusions. Preservation Office employees Muffet Jordaine and Sara Collins stated, “These sites contain no archaeological traits of religious activity that we could determine.”

Days after this letter was sent, Haseko bulldozers destroyed six standing stones in areas near 3215, prompting some to accuse the developer of practicing damage control. “Nobody specifically asked for a moratorium limited to area 3215,” commented Kelly. “We wanted all bulldozing halted until the entire project area could be reexamined for religious structures. Some of the structures Haseko destroyed were certainly shrines, just as some of the few remaining structures are shrines.”

The archaeological report lists 53 complexes in the project area. Out of the 53, just six are recommended for preservation. These include a mound of coral which the report acknowledges may be a heiau or large shrine. The other 47 complexes are judged as “significant solely for information content,” a phrase that means they can be excavated and then destroyed, as most have been already.

Aside from the one possible heiau, no other features among the hundreds located throughout the 1,100 acres affected are identified in the report as religious, and none, including the heiau itself, are placed in the category “having cultural significance.” However, Haseko spokesperson Perry White said “cultural context was a principal consideration in assigning the site functions.”

Federal guidelines acknowledge that cultural sites “are often hard to recognize … [and that they] may not necessarily come to light through the conduct of archaeological … surveys.” The National Register-of Historic Places Bulletin 38, which directs compliance with federal guidelines, mentions that it is not uncommon for culturally-sensitive properties to come to light late in the development process, especially because sacred places are often kept secret.

The Bulletin goes on to caution that “individuals who have economic interests in the potential development of an area may be strongly motivated to deny its cultural significance … Where one individual or group asserts that a property has traditional cultural significance, and another asserts that it does not, or where there is disagreement about the nature or extent of a property’s significance, the motives and values … of the parties must be carefully analyzed.”

Bulletin 38 states that cultural experts must be brought into the property to help identify significant features. In this instance, the report prepared by Paul Rosendahl and Associates relied for its cultural background on the recollections of two elderly community members, who did not claim to have particular knowledge of ancient life in the area.

Rosendahl and Associates did conduct community tours of the project area about five years ago, but only took people to one of the six areas slated for preservation and to another small group of structures near the ocean.

Patterson, however, located a man who remembers visiting One‘ula as a child of eight or nine with his grandfather and uncles, to fish with nets for kala, ʻāweoweo, manini and ‘u‘u. “My grandpa knew the right time of year and of the month to go,” says Raymond Kauhola, who now lives in ‘Åina Haina. “While we were getting ready to lay the net, he used to go into the shrines in the bushes to pule (pray) and give ho‘okupu. After that we would go and lay the net. Of course, we would catch fish, and then my grandpa would take a fish, wrap it in ti and take it into the bushes to pule again. It is really too bad that they have to go and develop that place, and destroy everything that I remember.”

Kauhola’s grandfather lived in Nånåkuli. Haseko only asked those living in ‘Ewa about family connections to the area.

Rev. Patterson asks, “Why was it so easy for us to locate someone who knows of the shrines, and so hard for them to locate anyone?”

If Haseko suspects Hawaiians of “manufacturing” sacred sites in order to stop excavation of the land to create a marina, those who are objecting to the destruction of the sites note the absence of acknowledged sacred sites among the hundreds of features identified, and the convenient placement of areas recommended for preservation along the edges of the planned marina project where they will not interfere with construction. They also note the lack of acknowledgment of the cultural significance of single upright stones with platforms. “Some ahu have low platforms for receiving ho‘okupu and a unique, upright coral slab to represent the god being propitiated,” Kelly points out. “These are indeed rare!”

Paul Rosendahl defends his company’s archaeological interpretation of the upright stones by maintaining that they are “architectural features.” He contends that the stones set upright were parts of larger structures, which were dismantled by his workers when they originally worked on the sites. However, Rosendahl has not yet produced photographs of these earlier structures.

“The problem is a much greater one than the interpretation of a dozen upright stones. The problem involves the deliberate marginalization of Hawaiians in the interpretation of their own sacred places, as though Hawaiian culture is a dead culture, only to be interpreted by Western archaeologists,” comments Patterson. “We want to see cultural oversight committees set up, similar to the burial councils, that involve the Hawaiian community in every step of the process, beginning right now.”

Patterson emphasizes that this cultural oversight needs to be built into every stage of every project involving Hawaiian sites, including the critical point when a purpose or function is assigned to each feature.

Rowland Reeve, who has worked with the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana to preserve the cultural sites on that island, expresses similar concerns. “It is not simply a question of whether there are shrines at One‘ula. It is a question of whether the entire process that exists to protect these and other cultural sites is adequate.”

In the politically-charged atmosphere since the H-3 construction, some Hawaiian activists complain that contract archaeologists avoid mentioning the “H” (heiau) word at all costs, and that they assign anything but religious significance to features they uncover, especially those that might prove inconvenient to the developers that have hired them to write the reports. Comments Reeve, “The primary question is whether we are willing to continue to let economic forces determine what parts of the past are worth preserving and which are to be destroyed.”

Patterson promises that the issue will not disappear, even if Haseko bulldozes all the shrines. “The ‘Ewa coast should be a eco-cultural reserve, a protected coastal ecosystem for the perpetuation of traditions and customs such as limu gathering, fishing, surfing, and canoe paddling. We want to plant the seeds of a united campaign that will extend further than the shrines at One’ula. … We’ve already contacted fishermen and limu gatherers in Wai‘anae and Waimānalo. … This is an issue that will come up again and again on this island.”

Jan Becket, a writer and photographer who has participated in events at the ‘Ewa Marina site, is working on a book of photographs documenting Hawaiian religious sites remaining on O‘ahu.


What Is A Shrine?

To further complicate a politically-charged issue, the archaeological community does not agree on the definition of a Hawaiian traditional shrine. The best way for a shrine or heiau to be preserved, Kukuiokāne Heiau aside, is for it to have been included in a survey of O‘ahu done in 1930-1932 by the Bishop Museum archaeologist J. Gilbert McAllister. Without that recognition, however, identification becomes more subjective, and much more open to political and economic pressure.

Marion Kelly points out that a shrine can consist of no more than a single stone, but in most cases consists of a small structure built to emphasize a prominent stone. In traditional Hawaiian cosmology, the upright stone is regarded as a home which a god can be induced to enter if worshippers conduct the proper ceremonies.

The Rosendahl report on the ‘Ewa Marina site, however uses different criteria to define a religious feature: It may have taken a “great deal of time and effort to construct,” may contain ceremonial artifacts and may not have dense concentrations of food remains. The first definition underscores the importance of upright stones, and allows for family shrines, while the second appears to recognize only larger structures used by an entire community or by the ali‘i.

Kelly comments that the Rosendahl definition is not culturally accurate, or culturally sensitive. “How about the pōhakuokāne?” she asks, pointing to the 19th century Hawaiian historian Samuel Kamakau. His book, Ka Po‘e Kahiko, relates that there were “very many” stones of Kāne in every ahupua‘a (district), and that these were stones indicated by a god “perhaps in a dream, or in a vision, or by leading someone to the spot.” Interestingly, his description of the ceremony at a stone of Kāne includes the fact that a feast was eaten near the stone and that “the remains of the feast were buried in front of the stone.”

Kelly also disputes Rosendahl’s taking the presence of food remains as evidence that a structure is not a shrine. “How about the halemua?” she asks. The halemua was the men’s eating house, but was also a place where religious ceremonies were conduced, and it was considered a kind of heiau. “It is a very economically advantageous definition for a developer,” comments Kelly. “I can certainly see how Rosendahl and the SHPD employees saw no shrines at One‘ula when they applied such a limited definition.”

Roll #2: Create the illusion of depth

Why you are doing this assignment

A photograph is just a pattern of light and dark tones on a flat piece of paper. It works by creating the illusion that the image is in three dimensions and has depth. Photographers deliberately create that illusion in lots of ways, but one of the most basic is to include subjects that are both close and far.

How to do this assignment

  1. Locate a series of scenes that contain  visually interesting objects or people (We call that object the center of interest.)
  2. Back up so that when you take the pictures other objects enter into the frame.
  3. Place your center of interest so that you are shooting through the closer objects, so that they become a part of the image. We say that these objects are in the foreground. Sometimes we call them the frame (even though they might exist just on one side, and not extend all the way around your image.)

What to shoot

Think of somebody standing at the top of a flight of stairs, with the photographer standing near the bottom. The image might include the nearby part of the handrail. Or think of someone standing some distance away, with your shot taken through someoneʻs legs, with that personʻs shadow extending towards your subject. Imagine a shot of, say, an overflowing dumpster, taken though some foliage, or through an open doorway.

Whatever you shoot, frame it with something in the foreground.

What your folder should contain

  1. A contact sheet. It is ok to punch holes in a contact sheet.
  2. Three identical 5X7 prints (prints from the same negative). Pick your best shot of the roll. Make a tape circle and stick the prints on white paper. Punch hols in the white paper, never in your prints.

For the first print determine the best exposure using the test strip method you have been taught. Print that image using the #0 filter. Make two more prints, one with filter #2.5 and the last with filter #5. Remember that when you use the filters, the white light indicator light must be OFF.

Remember that the most recent assignment goes on TOP.

What your assignment should look like

Aim for a contact sheet that contains

  • At least 20 visible images
  • At least 7 different subjects
  • Solid black outside the negatives
  • Identifiable negatives, not too light or too dark

Your three prints should show differences in tone or value. Look carefully at the darkest and whitest areas and try to see what the filters do. We will discuss this in class.

Roll #1: Match the format to the image

Why you are doing this assignment

Students sometimes forget that the camera can be turned on its side to produce vertical images. Occasionally, the vertical format matches the image far better than the horizontal format.

How to do this assignment

Your assignment is to take a roll of nothing but vertical images. Go on a treasure hunt for subjects that work as vertical images.

What to shoot

Of course, portraits of people almost always work best as verticals, but for this assignment, do not take any portraits. (Those will come in a later assignment.) CAUTION: avoid splitting the frame right through the center, with a vertical line or a horizontal line.

What your folder should contain

One contact sheet labeled “Roll #1”

What your assignment should look like

Aim for a contact sheet that contains

  • At least 20 visible images
  • At least 7 different subjects – no portraits
  • Vertical images appropriate to the subject matter

Six images of Mākua Valley on Oʻahu were selected by Musée Quai Branly in Paris for the biennial exhibit, Photoquai 2009

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”4″ gal_title=”Six Mākua Images”]

Photoquai curatorʻs statement (PDF download)

Link to the live Quai Branly website

Photoquai curator’s statement (embedded PDF)


Né à Hawai‘i, j’ai poursuivi mes études à Paris dans les années soixante-dix. Pendant les vingt-cinq dernières années, j’ai enseigné la littérature et la photographie dans un lycée privé à Honolulu, lycée réservé uniquement aux étudiants hawaïens. Je suis l’un des deux éditeurs et photographes du livre à grand format Pana O’ahu, (UH Press, 1999), un catalogue photographique des temples hawaïens qui restent sur l’île le plus exploité en Polynésie.

Avec ces images de la vallée de Mākua sur l’île d’O‘ahu, une centaine de kilomètres de la grande ville de Honolulu, j’explore l’espace entre deux cultures, deux façons de se placer dans l’univers, deux attitudes envers la même terre. L’une est arrivée ici à Hawai‘i il y a deux mille ans; l’aure est venue il y a deux cent trente ans environ et a tout de suite commencé à assimiler l’autre: ses lois, sa religion, son économie, sa langue, ses terres. Cet abîme entre deux mondes existe partout à Hawaii, mais à Mākua, c’est plus net, plus clair.

À la base de la culture polynésienne on trouve l’idée que la terre, la mer et tout ce qu’il leur appartient est donné par les dieux. Les Hawaïens ont fait alors grande attention à l’harmonie entre terre, peuple et dieux, qui sont au fond membres de la même famille. Leurs temples anciens qui restent à Mākua suggèrent cette relation. Quand les colons américains sont arrivés, leur économie et leurs valeurs dix-neuviémistes, ont précipité un bouleversement des valeurs traditionnelles de la société hawaïenne. Les colons ont apporté et imposé surtout la notion que les ressources naturelles existent pour le profit personnel.

Autrefois, des nombreuses terrasses agricoles s’étendaient sur la longueur de la vallée. Cependant, les maladies introduites pendant le 19ème s. ont largement diminué la population de Mākua, qui a cessé de cultiver l’intérieur de la vallée. Avec la retraite de la population s’est passé au même temps le déplacement des plantes indigènes sur les beaux versants de la vallée, un autre niveau de colonisation occidentale. Cependant, dans les montagnes derrière Mākua se trouvent de petites populations, des plantes et des animaux parmi les plus rares de toute l’île de O‘ahu.

Dès le début du 20ème s. les familles hawaïennes sont restées dans la vallée au bord de la mer, travaillant comme des paniolo (cowboys) pour l’entreprise McCandless qui élevait de gros bétail là-bas. Ces Hawaïens continuaient à cultiver de petits jardins, à pêcher, et à assister aux offices de leur église protestante, fondée dans les années 1850. Il est écrit qu’ils ont aussi continué à offrir des prières à certains temples anciens dans la vallée.

Dès le début de la deuxième guerre mondiale et l’attaque japonaise de Pearl Harbor, tous les habitants de Mākua one été expulsés par l’armée. Leurs maisons, leur église et même leur cimetière sont devenus des cibles dans les jeux de guerre. L’église n’existe plus. Le temple traditionnel de pèche à la plage s’est effacé. En 1943, l’armée a promis que Mākua serait remis après la guerre en bon état, mais en 1955, l’armée a constaté que Mākua était si contaminé par des munitions non-explosés qu’il n’était plus pratique de le rendre à la population hawaïenne, et donc qu’il était de continuer les exercices de guerre. Jusqu’à ce jour, l’armée impose ces exercices à la vallée, ce qui cause des feux, mettant en danger les plantes hawaïennes déjà en passe de disparaître. De temps en temps, on y trouve des bombes de 200 à 300 kilo qui explosent. On y trouve également de toutes petites bombes “ICM” (improved conventional munitions; cluster bombs), maintenant proscrites dans de pays nombreux.

Comme photographe, je suis témoin d’une part des efforts admirables de réintroduire une mesure de la vie traditionnelle à Mākua, de faire revivre la vallée et avec ça, la culture hawaïenne qui lui appartient. D’autre part, je prends la mesure de l’empreinte des pas de l’occident sur un paysage polynésien.

Three Sample Research Papers (not edited)


Research Paper

In the past decades, generations have been developing more and more devices that “help” us live an easier life. In today’s world people went from using sticks to light a fire to turning a switch and heating up a burner, from running around to take messages to a single drive to the post office or a single click on the computer for email, and from walking 6 hours to get somewhere to driving for only an hour. Building so many technologies no one looked into what these devices were ruining. Mind blowing facts were found that scare the scientific community. There is something that roams the air called Carbon Emissions, and scientist have found that it is almost at its peak. Carbon emissions are polluting carbon substances released into the atmosphere; carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are two examples of carbon emissions. Carbon emissions are produces by motor vehicles. Everyday people around the world are doing an activity to increase carbon emissions. In 2008 carbon levels were over 380 parts per million and on average it is estimated that carbon levels will continue to rise by more that 2ppm every year. As more carbon emission are spread into the atmosphere it is said when the world reaches 650ppm, there will be a 4°C rise in temperature. With Carbon Emissions rising more and more each year there will be a rise in sea levels, rise in temperature, and a shortage in food supply.

Carbon emissions is polluting the air right now as we speak, carbon emissions is surrounding the Earth causing global warming. In Global Warming many things can happen and one of the causes is temperature rising. As said before when carbon levels reach 650 ppm there will be an increase in the temperature of 4°C. Rising temperatures affect the rising of sea levels. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported an issue discussing future sea level rising. “The publishing from the IPCC are unprejudiced and full contracts condensing the influence of global warming on the planet (Young, Pilkey)”. The IPCC did calculations showing the future sea level but they only included thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of mountain glaciers outside the poles. Using only those boundaries the IPCC calculated a maximum of a two-foot rise this century. The IPCC did a great job with their calculations, but because of their laziness they didn’t include the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, which are two of the most important factors to the predictions of sea level rise. “Most climate scientists believe melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet will be one of the main drivers of sea level rise during this century (Young, Pilkey)”. “…Majority climate scientists confide that the major push of sea level rise in the 21st century is the defrosting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Greenland Ice Sheet (Young, Pilkey)”. With these two ice sheets melting there will be a 20 feet sea level rise and that is only including these two massive sheets.

With ice caps melting and affecting the sea level rise it will affect land being submerged under water. Sea level rising will affect homes and the people who live in coastal areas. It is recommended to, “Immediately prohibit the construction of high-rise buildings and major infrastructure in areas vulnerable to future sea level rise. Building placed in future hazardous zones should be small and movable – or disposable (Young, Pilkey)”.

The ice caps melting will cover up land concluding in a higher increase in food shortage. While the oceans rise coastal areas will be covered which is said to be the biggest piece of land where there are crops. “Building on discredit to trauma, in many portions of Asia the rice crop will be wrecked by rising sea level – a three-foot level rise will terminate half of the rice assembly in Vietnam – resulting a food crisis unexpected with the large migration of people (Young, Pilkey)”.

Rising temperatures also has an effect on the shortage of food. “A finding, in the US Journal Science came across a 90% probability that by the ending of the century, the refreshing temperatures in the tropics with the crop swelling season, would go beyond the most sizzling temperatures documented between 1900 and 2006” (Sample).” Blazing high temperatures will affect farmers’ crops, which could put half of the world’s population in a severe food shortage. According to a new study, “heated temperatures in the zone are also assumed to rise the uncertainty of drought, cutting produce losses more (Sample)”. Knowing that the temperatures will raise drastically a director, Naylor suggested developing new crops that would be able to handle the higher temperatures in the future. The biggest change in crops grown is predicted to be in the tropics because there the crops are more sensitive to the changes in the climate.

Loss of food will affect the people in a big way. “The overpower of the food shortages are believed to touch the poor, densely populate areas of the equatorial belt, where command for food is already escalating because of a swift expansion in population (Sample)”. Higher temperatures will cut crops such as rice and maize between 20 to 40%. People will have to find knew ways food can be able to grow in raging hot weather.

All of these studies have shown that we as the people who live on this planet needs to change our ways and help give back to the land, how the land has provided to us. Scientist has been studying for years and all they keep saying is bad things, so we need to cut back. James Lovelock, a scientist in Cornwall, has said, “it’s just too late for it, perhaps if we’d gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can’t say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do (Aitkenhead)”. To make the future a better place to live we need to start thinking of not only how to go green, but how we can adapt to the rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and food shortage, because it is bound to happen.



Adam, David. “Too Late? Why Scientists Say We Should Expect the Worst.” The Guardian [London] 9 Dec. 2008, Global Development sec.: 1-4. Print.

Aitkenhead, Decca. “‘Enjoy Life While You Can'” The Guardian. 1 Mar. 2008. Web. 22 May 2011. <>.

Sample, Ian. “Billions Face Food Shortages, Study Warns.” The Guardian [London] 9 Jan. 2009, Global Development sec.: 1-2. Print.

Young, Rob, and Orrin Pilkey. “Get Ready for Seven-foot Sea Level Rise as Climate Change Melts Ice Sheets.” The Guardian [London] 15 Jan. 2010, Global Development sec.: 1-4. Print.


Notes on the paper above: The first half of the introduction could be cut, with the paper beginning at the fifth sentence. With a short paper like this, itʻs best to begin directly and simply. There are just a few language / style problems. Some of the short sentences might be joined effectively to make longer, more graceful ones. The phrase “Carbon Emissions” should not be capitalized and takes a plural verb. However, the paperʻs introduction, in its second half, lays out a clear cause and effect road map for the rest of the paper and includes a few of the most important facts. Paragraphs in the body are connected by transitional phrases and contain lots of specific information, which is correctly cited. The paper includes all of the most relevant information in each of the articles. The conclusion effectively summarizes what has been covered and adds an additional reference that expands on the points and issues raised in  the paper. The list of works cited is in the correct MLA format, for the most part. Overall , this is an excellent paper.


Effects of CO2 lead to Global Warming

Scientists warn that feedback loops caused by factors such as tropical deforestation continue to raise CO2 levels to unexpected levels. This in turn, is leading to the world’s 6th mass extinction and to the depopulation of large parts of the earth.

Global warming is happening much quicker than what people predicted and it is mainly because of the increase of gas emissions and the higher temperatures. The burning of coal was proven to be the result of higher emissions, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and causes temperatures to rise (Lydersen). “These higher temperatures are beginning to melt the arctic permafrost, which could release hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane” (Lydersen). The rise of carbon dioxide will also affect the growth of plants. “Warmer weather, earlier snowmelt, drought, and beetle infestations facilitated by warmer climates are all contributing to the rising number of fires linked to climate change” (Lydersen). Wildfires are also able to release more carbon dioxide than coal burning. So in the tropical forests, we need to prevent deforestation because it is more likely to be susceptible for fires than the other forests (Lydersen).

On the other hand, this is the 6th mass extinction of plants and animals. “At least 50% of all species could disappear” (Environmental News Service). The cause of this extinction is due to the pollution in the atmosphere from humans. The most important species are the genetically unique ones. For example, losing the buttercup would have a much bigger impact than losing a daisy or a sunflower because studies show that “fewer species produce less biomass than those with more species. Less plant biomass means that less carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere and less oxygen is produced” (Environmental News Service). This will eventually lead to food chains being affected, because there will be fewer plants for animals to eat, and it will interrupt the production of crops and agriculture (Environmental News Service).

The two degrees centigrade in global warming temperatures will most likely cause changes in the world leading to droughts, hunger, and flooding. The IPCC says that Africa, Asian river deltas, low-lying islands, and the Arctic will be the places that will be affected the most (Milmo). In Africa, about 350-600 million people will suffer from water shortages, agriculture could fall, and the number of species will be at risk. In Asia, 1 billion people will suffer water shortages, maze and wheat fields will fall, rice crops will drop, and flooding will occur. In Australia/New Zealand, 3,00-5,00 people will die from the heat, water supplies will drop, and annual bleaching from the Great Barrier Reef will begin. In Europe, warm temperatures will increase wheat crops, but water supplies will drop; heat waves, forest fires, and floods will increase, and new diseases will appear. In Latin America, 77 million people will face water shortages and there will be flooding. In North America, crops will increase and there will be extreme weather conditions. In Polar Regions, permafrost will increase and some communities will face loss of traditional lifestyle. There will also be land loss in the low-lying islands because of rising sea levels (Milmo). A study also predicted that in the next 10 years or less, this global warming would occur. “If warming is not kept below 10 degrees centigrade, then global impacts will occur, such as species extinctions, and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger, and flooding” (Milmo). It is therefore time to believe that there is no possible solution to this problem, and it will in fact happen.

The world will face a “perfect storm” by 2030, problems with shortages of food, water, and energy will begin to arise. “If we don’t address this, we can expect major destabilization, an increase in rioting and potentially significant problems with international migration, as people move out to avoid food and water shortages” (Sample). Northern Europe and other high latitude regions will become the major places for food production. There is a need for a renewable energy supplies, boosting crop yields, and using existing water supplies (Sample). In China, they began to build reservoirs so it will catch the melt water from glaciers, which will later be distributed into the water supply (Sample). The decrease of water, food, and energy, and the increase in flooding is a sign of global warming. There is no way to avoid globally warming because it is drastically changing the world around us slowly.

Works Cited

Environmental News Service. “Genetically Unique Plants Matter Most in Current Mass Extinction.” Truthout. 21 Oct. 2008.

Lydersen, Kari. “Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates.” Truthout. 15 Feb. 2009.

Milmo, Cahal. ‘Too late to avoid global warming,’ says scientist. The Independent 19 Sept. 2007.

Sample, Ian. “World faces ‘perfect storm’ of problems by 2030, chief scientist to Warn.” Guardian. 18 Mar. 2009.

Notes on the paper above: The introduction is 3-4 sentences too short, but does not contain meaningless fluff. The paperʻs conclusion is fine: it brings in significant additional ideas that build upon what has been presented. The conclusion adds an additional article and adds citations for the facts it contributes. The paperʻs body paragraphs make good use of specific facts, which are attributed in the citations. The paragraphs need better transitions from one to the next, although specific facts are cited effectively and then attributed within text citations. The first two articles in the works cited section at the end need to be put into the correct format, with the original printed sources cited.


The Day After Tomorrow

Global warming has been among the most talked about subjects in the world for years. According to many scientists, the warming temperatures of the earth are rapidly increasing mainly due to our actions. This overwhelming issue has sadly been pushed to the point of no return. The world’s leading climate scientists are now stating that global warming is now “very unlikely to be avoided” (Milmo).

Scientists warn that the worldwide impact from global warming is unavoidable in places such as Africa, Asia rivers and deltas, and the low lying regions of the Arctic. “The rise of two degrees centigrade or less in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels as the benchmark after which the effects of climate become devastating, with crop failures, water shortages, sea-level rises, species extinctions and increased disease” (Milmo). It is predicted that in 10 years this “tipping point” will be reached. An assessment by the IPCC predicts that “up to two billion people worldwide will face water shortages and up to 30 per cent of plant and animal species would be put at risk of extinction if the average rise in temperature stabilizes at 1.5C to 2.5C” (Milmo). Even if lifestyle changes were made, the chances of reducing the risk of severe damages caused by global warming, is nearly impossible.

According to an article written by Kari Lydersen, the rate of global warming is much faster than predicted. Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University stated, “We are basically looking now at a future climate that’s beyond anything we’ve considered seriously in climate model simulations” (Lydersen). A large contributor to the raised concern of global warming is the increased numbers of burning coal in other developing countries. Large amounts of carbon dioxide are being released into the air due to the melting of the arctic permafrost, which holds nearly 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide. Lydersen also states, “Along with carbon dioxide, melting permafrost releases methane, which is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide” (Lydersen). This cycle is otherwise known as feedback loops, where the warming causes the release of carbon dioxide, leading to more warming, thus more release from the melting permafrost. “The carbon is making the oceans more acidic, which also reduces their ability to absorb carbon” (Lydersen). In the Northern Hemisphere, the snowmelt, melting of the arctic, and increase of vegetation is causing an absorption rather than reflection, which also promotes the warming temperatures. Scientists warn that feedback loops caused by factors such as tropical deforestation continue to raise co2 levels to unexpected levels. This in turn, is leading to the worlds 6th mass extinction and to the depopulation of large parts of the earth.

Environment News Service states in an article that “50 percent of all species could disappear within the lifetimes of people now living on Earth” (Environment News Service). The current negativity of the Earth’s ecosystem is largely credited to what pollution that we have all contributed to. Scientists have determined that some species are more vital in preserving the ecosystems, than others. Scientist Bradley Cardinale, assistant professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology at the University of California-Santa Barbara, states, “The Earth might well lose half of its species in our lifetime. We want to know which ones deserve the highest priority for conservation” (Environment News Service). For example, Marc Cadotte, a postdoctoral fellow at the university’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, discovered that, “the buttercup is a very unique species, evolutionarily. Losing the buttercup, where it occurs in grasslands, would have a much bigger impact on the system than losing a daisy or a sunflower” (Environment News Service). Losing species that are not closely related to other species in ecosystems, take heavier tolls on the Earth, rather than losing closely related species. “The more genetically distinct a species is, the more impact it has on the amount of biomass in an ecosystem” (Environment News Service). It is crucial that people are educated about which species play the most important rolls, so that we can be diligent in helping the ecosystem.

The reality is settling in for many. Global Warming is simply unavoidable. According to an article written by Decca Aitkenhead, in 1965, executives at Shell were curious as to what the world would look like in the year 2000. Most marveled at the idea of hover crafts, and mind blowing technology, but they were all wrong. When scientist James Lovelock was asked this question, he said, “It will be worsening then to such an extent that it will seriously affect their business.” Decades later, Lovelock stands correct. The abuse towards Earth that each human being has played a part in, is resulting in the desiccation of numerous species, all being affected by global warming. At this point, our actions will determine either a damaged world or a fatally damaged world.

Works Cited

“Genetically Unique Plants Matter Most in Current Mass Extinction.” Environment News Service. 21 Oct. 2008. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.

Milmo, Cahal. “‘Too Late to Avoid Global Warming,’ Say Scientists – Climate Change, Environment – The Independent.” The Independent | News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper. 19 Sept. 2007. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.

Lydersen, Kari. “Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates –” Washington Post – Politics, National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines – 15 Feb. 2009. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.

Aitkenhead, Decca. “‘Enjoy Life While You Can’ | Environment | The Guardian.” Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | 1 Mar. 2008. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.

Notes on the paper above: The introduction and conclusion are OK, but weak, lacking specific details. The introduction is too short and does not lay out a clear roadmap for the rest of the paper. The conclusion omits the most significant detail in the interview with Lovelock, the 80% decline in the Earthʻs human population in the next 100 years. The body of the paper is its strongest point, although more transitions are needed from paragraph to paragraph. Note the use of specific facts and figures.