Native Hawaiians and Supporters Enter Second Week of Blockade of Work on Giant Telescope on Mauna Kea- ‘The Rock’ Joins Them

by on July 26, 2019 · 40 comments

in Culture, World News

Protesters blocking the construction of a giant telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, are about to enter their second week of the civil disobedient demonstration. They were joined on Wednesday, July 24 by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who came to show support.

Johnson – the actor and former wrestler – joined the protesters during their 10th day of the blockade of the construction road leading up to the planned site of the observatory. Native Hawaiian groups say the mountain, which already hosts 13 telescopes, is sacred, and another observatory will further desecrate the mountain on the Big Island.

Johnson told reporters:

“I wanted to come here and see our people and stand with them and support them. …What I realized today, and obviously I’ve been following this for years now, is that it’s bigger than a telescope. It’s humanity. It’s culture….

This is such a critical moment and a pivotal time. Because the world is watching.”

Johnson lived in Hawaii as a child, and offered to help with talks between the state and protesters.

The struggle to stop the building of the $1.4 billion, thirty-meter telescope being financed by an international consortium does go back years. Construction was going to start in 2015 but was stopped by protests and law suits. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled last year, however, the project had a valid permit, which was the green light for construction to begin after a decade long battle.

In response, native groups and their supporters moved into an active non-violent resistance phase. Currently, the blockaders have set up a camp; and last weekend, 2,000 people joined them at the camp.

Protesters in 2015. Photos by Will Falk.

See this series of earlier posts about this struggle at Mauna Kea by Will Falk:

Supporters of the telescope say its construction will bring 300 union construction jobs during its eight- to 10-year construction phase, and is expected to employ 140 employees when operational. The planned site has the best conditions for viewing the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere, supporters say.

They also claim Hawaii will lose its status as a world leader in astronomy if the telescope isn’t built. And all the professionals who could be employed by the facility would have to leave the state to find employment.

Sources:

 CNN

People

Associated Press

 

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Peter from South O July 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm

A letter from the Scientists at the Maunakea Observatories (PDF)

https://s22380.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/Maunakea-Observatories-Open-Letter-20190719.pdf

They have been forced to close down ALL the observatories due to the road being blocked. This is probably going to lead to equipment damage (very finely tuned and cryogenically cooled EXTREMELY expensive equipment) and observation time that is sometimes reserved years in advance.

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Avatar fstued July 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Why do’t the protesters not want to allow it. Beats the hell out of a coal plant of a mining operations.It seems to me it wold just advance science and create a few more jobs. It even better than a new tourist hotel. What don’t they like

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Avatar Heidi Fickinger July 27, 2019 at 6:49 pm

Here is why – the site they want to build on is a sacred site where the bones of ancestors of the Hawaiian people are buried. To even start the construction, they will start with blowing up the top of the pu’u (hill) to level it. Would you allow construction on the site of the graves of your ancestors to build a telescope?
Also, this mountain is the apex of the watershed of a huge portion of the Island. So much of this watershed has already been compromised by systematic destruction of the native forests for grassland to feed cattle, other agriculture, such as sugarcane in the past and other types that have put massive amounts of fertilizers and pesticides into our water.
Thirdly, construction would close the mountain to anyone but construction workers for close to 10 years. Many hawaiians go to the Mauna to pule (pray) and show respect for their ancestors. This would be blocked.
Fourthly, Hawaiians were never given the right to participate in the decision to build ANYTHING on the summit of Mauna Kea. The designation of the mountain from forest reserve to conservation lands was done unlawfully when development was first considered. The full legal route and explanation for this was not done properly. Why does this matter? You cannot develop on forest lands. You CAN on conservation lands. The agreement for doing so on conservation lands supposedly requires that any building development must be able to be taken down and the site restored to its original pristine state. This is not possible for the telescopes already built and cannot be done with this new giant scope – how do you reconstruct the top of a mountain that has been quite literally, bombed, in order to build on it? Not remotely possible.
Fifthly, the majority of jobs created will go to people from outside of Hawai’i. Since the established telescopes were built on the Mauna, the people of Hawai’i have had very little financial benefit from the telescopes. One of the telescopes is indeed being used by Lockhead Martin to look for potential asteroid threats to the earth. Lockhead Martin’s contract with the NASA to build a space ‘net’ to protect earth is worth $1.5 billion dollars, and yet the only benefit of that project is very, very minimal time for students of the University of Hawai’i to use the scope. Hawaiians have been told for 50 years that the telescopes will bring great financial benefits to the Island and the real financial benefit for the destruction that has been wrought o the Mauna is permanent and incalculable.
I firmly believe that space research is very important for humans to continue doing. I also firmly believe that science must be respectful of culture and the environment and the construction of this telescope respects neither.

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Avatar retired botanist July 29, 2019 at 8:27 am

Great points Heidi!

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Avatar retired botanist July 27, 2019 at 5:59 am

Peter-
A thoughtful letter from the consortium, but I’m not buying it. I know it sounds hackneyed, but is nothing sacred anymore? Have the Hawaiians not lost enough of their culture and land already? Isn’t the presence of 13 telescopes enough? Your comment mentions money, expensive equipment, and booked reservations.
The oil sands pipeline, the attempt to store nuclear waste on NA reservation land, the theft of the Black Hills, Koho’olawe: pick a topic and you’ll find cultural theft embedded in it somewhere.
I spent 12 years in Hawaii, some of it working at the Bishop Museum on Oahu, and a lot of it on the Big Island studying ethnobotany. The vestiges of true Hawaiian culture are precious, far more precious than a 14th telescope.

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Avatar thequeenisalizard July 27, 2019 at 8:19 am

Follow imaginary gods because that’s what we have been doing for hundreds of years. Or, advance science to help save your island and the rest of the world.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2019 at 12:24 pm

Gee, no sense of an acknowledgement of the power of the dominant culture in your comment. All power to advancing science and to hell with the non-white cultures that get trampled in the way.

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Avatar Geoff Page July 31, 2019 at 3:05 pm

That’s pretty insensitive, queen. I’m an atheist but I do not denigrate anyone who believes in a god. Such beliefs bring great comfort to a lot of people and these beliefs are intertwined with history and custom. We stole the Hawaiian islands from the native people much the same as we did here in this country. We tried to force them to believe in another imaginary god that we thought was better. Guess we felt our imagination was better than theirs. But, despite all of that, the Hawaiians have managed to hold on to their own religion, history, and customs. We’ve done enough to these people and this is essentially their last stand. This should be a form of reparation. stop desecrating their sacred site, give them this.

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Avatar Jan Michael Sauer July 27, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Somehow I hope that the TMT does not get completed. It cannot be worth the ill will and ramifications of same that will follow for ages. We all love science but this really is too much. Soon we will have the James Webb telescope to replace Hubble and maybe we should concentrate on not disrespecting what is sacred to our native friends. I wish that Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris, etc. would speak out against this horrible and disrespectful project. I never really though much about The Rock, but now I love the guy.

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Avatar Peter from South O July 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm

The Webb is not a visible-light telescope like Hubble. Infrared. The Thirty-Meter is gonna be a Swiss Army knife compared to the Webb and much more sensitive.

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Avatar Peter from South O July 27, 2019 at 7:01 pm

Religion supressing science. What a novel concept!

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Avatar retired botanist July 28, 2019 at 5:29 am

Oh, please. I know you can think more expansively than that, and you would not want to march forward with ‘science only’ in your field of view! And what you see as “religion” is a super arcane perspective. Science is not just the latest telescope; useful scientific knowledge does not spring from equipment alone. It comes from comprehensive understanding, not just the blind application of technology.

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Avatar Peter from South O July 28, 2019 at 6:25 am

My comment was an obvious oversimplification of a very complex issue, as was yours. Comprehensive understanding of the cosmos is impossible without the equipment to examine them.
The patient efforts of the consortium over decades to make this work with the local population have been rewarded by last-gasp demonstrators relying on religious beliefs to justify their actions.
The consequences of shutting down access to the summit I have already mentioned.
Another thing I will mention is that I am not disputing their right to peacefully protest; I served in the military to defend that right for my fellow citizens.

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Avatar retired botanist July 28, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Fair enough on the oversimplification, but Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan notwithstanding, if we don’t save the biology (and I don’t mean the artificial kind), the equipment will be useless. Remarkably, every single thing on the planet boils down to plants- fuel, shelter, food, clothing, getting OFF the planet, oxygen, weather. There is nothing that doesn’t start with plants. This is something that ancient cultures understood-they didn’t call it Big Bang, maybe they even called it religion, whatever. But modern cultures keep trying to work around that bottom line. Let’s just hope your “last gasp” isn’t literal! :)

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Avatar Peter from South O July 28, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Wait, what? The Thirty-Meter Telescope site is an Alpine stone desert. Lichens. That is about it.
This is not about biodiversity, it is about fundamental scientific research and exploration. To get off the planet one must understand where we are going. It would be one thing if Mauna Kea was one of a bunch of competing sites in the USA; it is one of a kind.
If the Thirty-Meter is not constructed there it will have to move to the Canary Islands or Peru.
Let us not get distracted from the real dangers facing the environment on a global scale. It is very discouraging to see what we are up against. I think that those now in their teens and twenties are not gonna have a very livable World by the time they are my age.

Plug: Those that want to make a bit of a difference can support organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity, American Association for the Advancement of Science or the American Geophysical Union. All three do serious work (Center for Biodiversity is the entity that is fighting the Administration in court over the wall) in the environmental fight. Check ’em out.

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Avatar retired botanist July 29, 2019 at 8:20 am

“Lichens. That is about it.” I promise that was not a trap, Peter, but that’s a debate beyond the scope here, and one you’re not likely to win with me. My area of expertise is cryptogamic botany-you know, all those “low life” forms? Mushrooms, algae, lichens, mosses, etc. I could mention that the very heartbeat of desert habitat are the desert crusts (=lichens), that most of the efficacious drugs we have today are derived from fungi, that many promising drugs of the future have yet to be identified from these types of species we have not fully researched or even discovered. That most of the planet’s oxygen production comes not from tall trees in the rain forests, but from single celled algae…
But since you don’t think the preservation of biodiversity is a player in this story there isn’t much point in belaboring it. Sadly, if only it were just about religion!
But you did make a good point: the telescope could go to the Canary Is. or Peru. How lucky for it, how unfortunate for species that are not mobile and are tied to the UNIQUE habitat in which they are found.
Thank you for plugging the Center for Biological Diversity- the lawsuit you mention involves desert habitat!

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Avatar Peter from South O July 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Didn’t think it was a trap . . . retired botanist is a subtle ;-) hint at your life’s work. That being said, the EIR is public record.
http://www.maunakeaandtmt.org/get-the-facts/tmt-supporting-environment/environmental-impact-statement/
Even I know that lichens grow best out of direct sunlight; I grew up on 20 acres of Connecticut forest and swamp back in the day when children were ALL free-range. I didn’t find out how complex the fungus+alga and/or bacterium symbiosis was until high school bio.
I agree that without microdiversity the whole house of cards collapses, but this is a fight that needs to be won for science, not tradition. The courts have spoken. Despite the best efforts of the douchebag in the White House, we are still a society based on the rule of law.

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Avatar retired botanist July 29, 2019 at 12:17 pm

ha, true that, or at least until this sorry excuse of a POTUS completely disassembles the EPA, CWA, ESA and the rest of the fragile alphabet soup that slows down the destruction!

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Avatar Peter from South O July 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm

Great article in the UT this morning about how CA is foiling the efforts within our borders, at least. Other States are following suit.
Lichen discussion was stimulating. Looking forward to getting mosses involved. Rhizoids get me excited.

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Avatar retired botanist July 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Haha, yay! And I’ll look for the article :)

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Avatar Peter from South O July 29, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Paper paper page A4

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks July 30, 2019 at 12:38 am

We don’t need to build any more telescopes under this dingy dirty atmosphere. Put all of them in space at the La Grange Points and direct them outward. Solved the problem.

As for biology….read this retired botanist! Not what one would call really good news:

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48964736?fbclid=IwAR3LY8VdXqvg8QkCKBnY5q0xdsuL4bn3Xf6xRBilqLUZERMhtT1L8mWpqOY

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Peter from South O July 30, 2019 at 12:28 pm

re: telescopes

No. Just no. Above the atmosphere there USED to be a case made for visible-light telescopes because ground-based ‘scopes had severe issues with atmospheric disturbances (not the dirt). That is old news. The combination of adaptive optics (bending the mirror) and both natural and laser guide stars has eliminated that advantage.
No more visible-light telescope will replace Hubble when she dies. Space is the place for the rest of the spectrum (infrared, ultraviolet) and that is what the scopes at the Lagrange points are studying.
Space telescopes must be lightweight, have to be engineered to work in an extreme environment and fit inside a payload shroud, survive vibration and g-forces and if they break, even a little bit, there is nobody nearby with a screwdriver.
Bigger is better when you speak of light-gathering ability.
Guide stars and adaptive optics negate the advantages found above the atmosphere.
Cheaper. WAY cheaper per observing hour.
Problem NOT solved.

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Avatar retired botanist July 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Hey Seal, and Peter-
Having just weathered (pun) a 12-day heat wave, I am aware of the climate crisis we are already enduring. One would think, having been born in Key West in AUGUST fercrissake, and repeatedly hiking 12-mile transects in the Mojave, these extended temperature tantrums would be SOP for me, but they aren’t.
I won’t begin to pretend I understand the physics of Peter’s post below, so it is difficult for me to grasp, but I expect his science points are valid, as are those in Seal’s article link. I cannot debate the astrophysics, except maybe from a concern about the space junk POV; I am, for better or worse, grounded in the organics of our earthly ‘dirt’ and a “gotta nail it down” protectionist view over every undisturbed patch left. In the much, much broader context, I am also an advocate for the underdog/less orthodox views of our cosmology; to wit, I support philosophies that embrace a simplified and deeply reverent acknowledgement of our planet b/c these understandings are based on the right priorities…do no harm.
Having said that, I am a supporter of the Extinction Rebellion movement for climate action. I don’t know how to dovetail that back in to the subject of this thread, which is the physical space on Mauna Kea and the progress of understanding the vast “out there”, but I am pedestrian enough to understand that the actions for climate change must start here on the ground, with our global leaders, with immediate solutions to energy consumption and a drastic re-orientation of our species. AI, as alluring as it might seem, just like new-fangled stuff, isn’t going to solve the problem in time. The problem is US (put periods after those caps, too). Belt tightening, live small, put down the phone, whatever it takes. But it’s a mindset.
Meanwhile, we get constantly drawn to the minutiae of swamp politics and the idea that changing one leader for another, one telescope for another, one smartphone for an upgrade, is somehow going to make a difference. It won’t. At the end of the day, we are both moving too fast for our own good, and not moving fast enough.
So, rule of law, court process, all the current mechanics of “get it done” are really just displacement activities. Maybe the telescope will get built and the Hawai’ians will lose more of their sacred earth, but it’s not going to turn this relentless march to the inferno, and yet another indigenous culture and belief system will be cast aside for the interests of progress. So whatever your point of view- science, cosmology, law, or politics, we must look inward instead of outward first. And now our editor Frank will probably cut me off for being way too out there, and I’m not smoking anything, darnit! :-)

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Avatar Jan Michael Sauer July 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Completion of the TMT represents a very bad precedent for the future of space exploration. It means that science trumps respect for native cultures. At the very least, the protesters are a significant minority, but they have my love and utmost respect. In the absence of compromise ( and I wonder if any compromises were ever offered) , I support the protectors on this issue. It really is all about respect.

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Avatar Peter from South O July 30, 2019 at 2:27 pm

This has wound its way through the courts to the Hawaii Supreme, which ruled for science. Tradition lost. Now the protesters are obstructing access to one of the most productive research facilities in the USA, illegally.
That includes NASA’s planetary defense ‘scope. Asteroid surprise, anyone?

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks July 31, 2019 at 10:03 pm

Peter: No more visible light telescopes in space? That’s a serious bummer. But I do love that these other wide-spectrum telescopes that have come into use are finding O2 and H2O planets in solar systems all over the place out in real space. Water planets! We aren’t the only one.

We should have an observatory on the dark side of the moon by now. I watched the 1969 moon landing and thought ‘here we go, we’re really going to do it.’ And fifty years later all we have left is more war for diminishing resources and a overpopulated, trashed planet. What a bummer. I’d rather see the money being used in space than continuing to fund war crimes…imagine half the military/security budget of this country, which is approximately $1.5 trillion a year when you add it all together, put towards getting our species off the planet before it implodes. Wouldn’t that be…amazing? Never happen but…I can think about it at least!

In 1984 I had bought a place up on Palomar, driving back to OB every day to my fiberglass shop, and that winter all the residents (about 300 of us back then) got invitations to spend a night viewing through the big scope. They took off the cameras and put on an eyepiece! The Horsehead Nebula with the naked eye on a snow-covered crystal clear night (except for the lights down below) was just so freaking cool. Standing outside as the dome rotated. I’m a night owl, most people were gone by midnight and I stayed until they shut down at 5am. Never going to forget that! I think our species needs to be able to eyeball things. It isn’t quite real enough without that.

retired botanist: Heat wave here, too. Again near triple digits with 15% humidity. Fire conditions are radical right now in the forest around me. And you know I grew up in OB and MB, my body never did like the desert! But it’s pretty much feeling like I’m living in one right now. Everything is dusty.

Of course we both could be in parts of India where it’s 123’F…and you cook jerky at 125’F!!!

PS, you did get the stickers, yes?

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar retired botanist August 1, 2019 at 7:38 am

Hey Seal- I sure did, and thanks so much! :) For more of my comment on the Mauna Kea project, see the beach sand column. Hope the plants up there (and you) aren’t wilting too much!

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Avatar Peter from South O August 1, 2019 at 2:59 am

You got to LOOK through the Hale. Envy? Yes.
I was impressed merely by looking AT the telescope through glass.
Imagine what the nebula would look like through a ‘scope 6 times larger than our “big scope”.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks August 1, 2019 at 10:24 pm

Peter, for hours! No kidding! I was about the only resident left after 1:30am but with a bar musician sleep pattern it’s really easy to stay up. Especially since the astronomers, or maybe the grad students since there was no work done there that night, shifted the Hale after those that were still there viewed whatever they were looking at. That kept the curiosity up. I sort of vaguely remember them moving the dome about every quarter hour. They had to kick me out at dawn…

I don’t know if they’d ever done that before, or since for that matter, but it’s one of those separate memory blocks in my brain. For some reason I have a strong memory of the Horsehead. My total time looking through the eyepiece was maybe…near 2 hours? Scientists wait years for that much time. Freaking amazing night.

I’d still like to see a HUGE telescope on the dark side of the moon. Or an entire settlement of research facilities there. Or maybe way out beyond the asteroid belt. Plenty of resources out there to use, eh? Imagine that.
_______

retired botanist: USPS comes through again. They have never lost a single order I’ve shipped since 1991. Dang good record.

Very hot, 99’F in the shade on the north side of the woodshed today. Mercury thermometer so it’s accurate with ambient air temperature. 15% humidity and and possible lightning storm (high fire danger today at the local station) tonight through 8pm tomorrow night. Last week was completely insane here. Bolts burning holes in the ground less that 30 feet from the front porch, multiple bolts hitting the ground in a 160′ arc from where I was standing. Took two days for the phone company to come fix the phone box out on the road that got hit. They had so many calls. 2 hours of this, and everything was unplugged. Some atmospheric scientist counted 2,500 ground strikes in two hours. I really don’t want to see more because this isn’t supposed to have any rain and we got deluged an hour before it hit last week.

Garden is fine! These girls absolutely love this heat and blazing sunshine but I am having to water morning and night. They are gulping down the well water. All sativa or sativa hybrids this year and doing just fine. Unlike the corn crop in the Midwest I might add!

Insane number of wildflowers this year, and the property was carpeted with new growth. The flying Chinese knapweed weevils have done an amazing job because I’m calling that awful invasive 90% gone! Took 11 years since they were released and I see them all over the flower buds laying their larvae when I look.

Do something fun this weekend. Don’t read the latest from that climate site I sent you to. It’s really bad news in the Arctic…just go do something fun instead.

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Jan Michael Sauer August 26, 2019 at 10:25 pm

Hawaii or Spain ? Why experts say location might not matter for World’s largest telescope . Check out the article on cbsnews.com under-Space.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks August 27, 2019 at 1:05 am

This popped up on counterpunch today, and I’ve been talking with my oldest surfer friend talking about what he’s seeing and hearing. After being over there and working 25 years with at-risk preschool age native kids in both schools and with parents in their homes, he’s got some serious insights into the psychology of the people he’s spent his life helping their kids all that time. He’s been surfing with local boys on Windward Side for decades now, hears a lot of the ‘talk story’ out in the water and on the beach, too, which is beyond the ‘professional educator’ side of the conversation and more to do with the cultural background and blindness of the techno society that destroyed their world with guns and lies.

The United States has a lot to atone for, no doubt about that. But hypocrisy continues to be a faithful servant. This short piece by a native guy sums up the feelings my friend hears everywhere in the Islands.

Plan B
by Taylor Cabatu

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/26/plan-b/

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Peter from South O August 27, 2019 at 1:48 am

“might not matter”

but then again, it might. Mauna Kea is twice the altitude and vastly different in humidity than the alternate site. We ‘lost’ the Large Hadron Collider to Europe because of similar apathy towards basic scientific research.

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Avatar Geoff Page August 27, 2019 at 9:46 am

Gotta take issue with your characterization of this as “apathy” Peter. There is nothing apathetic about the Hawaiians wanting to save their culture. And, for a better explanation of what happened to the collider this country attempted read this https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-supercollider-that-never-was/. It wasn’t apathy it was money and it looked like, in typical American style, our eyes were bigger than our stomach. No, you can’t attribute this conflict to apathy at all.

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Avatar Peter from South O August 27, 2019 at 11:30 am

Come on, Geoff. My apathy remark was directed at the lack of support for basic scientific research in this Country, and I lived through the whole supercollider mess. Blithely sending a cutting-edge facility to a foreign country because of superstition (and that is what religion is) is madness.

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Avatar Geoff Page August 27, 2019 at 11:40 am

Peter, you applied the word apathy to the Hadron Collider being in Europe and not here. That was not the case. Nor does apathy apply to the fervent beliefs of the Hawaiians. I am an atheist but I do understand the importance of religion to other people. Just because you are not religious, that does not give you any right to blythely dismiss the beliefs people have held for hundreds of years and tell them to step aside so you can do your science. And, what do you base your comment on about the lack of support for basic scientific research in this country? Compared to what or to whom?

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Avatar Peter from South O August 27, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Well, this certainly got twisted around to emphasize the least significant part of my comment. Let’s try this again:

“might not matter”

but then again, it might. Mauna Kea is twice the altitude and vastly different in humidity than the alternate site.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks August 28, 2019 at 11:49 pm

As for the Hawai’ians, this entire controversy has blended into the ‘Get the US out of the Kingdom of Hawai’i’ movement. Big time. They do not and never did want to be a US state nor do they want to continue to be the USA’s big aircraft carrier in the Pacific. They want their land back, autonomous rule! DP the Special Ed in the homes of the locals says this sentiment is everywhere (excepting in the big money/power players of course) and that’s what he hears on the streets of Oah’u everywhere he goes. Including out at Sunset (they had a freak swell recently get in and it was breaking!).
___________
As for tolerance of religions, too bad that there is no tolerance BY religions. There are women sitting in US jails right this minute being accused of murder after a miscarriage. And women’s choice is about to become a crime again thanks to ‘tolerant’ religious zealots. We will have thousands of women in prisons for ‘murder’ soon. Tens of thousands. And anybody that helps them. Can we say Dark Ages again???
_______________

Another link that I found VERY interesting (with a small cut to lead into following the link):

An excerpt, possibly relevant, from a forgotten classic, The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis by Lynn White, Jr. (Science, March 10, 1967):

Especially in its Western form, Christianity is the most anthropocentric religion the world has seen. As early as the 2nd century both Tertullian and Saint Irenaeus of Lyons were insisting that when God shaped Adam he was foreshadowing the image of the incarnate Christ, the Second Adam. Man shares, in great measure, God’s transcendence of nature. Christianity, in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia’s religions (except, perhaps, Zoroastrianism), not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God’s will that man exploit nature for his proper ends.

LINK TO PDF: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/155/3767/1203

Happy reading.

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Geoff Page August 28, 2019 at 9:15 am

Well that may be your opinion, Peter, but I think your dismissal of the religion and traditions of the Hawaiians was the most significant part of your comment. Siting the telescope is something with plenty of possibilities, it doesn’t have to be limited to just two locations. But, for the Hawaiians, there is only one location that matters and that should matter to you and everyone else.

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Avatar Geoff Page August 29, 2019 at 11:23 am

Have to disagree with this statement “They do not and never did want to be a US state .” They voted overwhelmingly to become a state. I was there on that day and I remember the horns honking everywhere, people throwing confetti and rolls of toilet paper. They thought their lives would be so much better. But, like the rest of Hawaii’s sorry history of involvement with the States, they soon learned they were duped.

I’m not going to get into a discussion of religion because I am not a fan but religion and culture are intertwined. We’ve done enough harm to the Hawaiians. If their last stand is on the peak of this volcano, I think we should honor that.

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