I really never thought that the TMT on Mauna Kea issue would come to my community, but alas it did. I came upon a busy intersection full of protesters against the telescope. There were people of all ages there from old folks to babies.
It makes me sad to see these protests. These people held signs with A’ole TMT written on it. A’ole is the Hawaiian word for “no.” The prior two years we had protests of A’ole GMO and now it’s moved onto the TMT. Some signs stated that the telescope was a desecration to the aina (land). This issue is eerily similar to the GMO one when they claimed that there was a need to malama (care) for the aina from biotech crops.
These protesters claim that this telescope is desecrating sacred land over and over. Meanwhile, a new Whole Foods is being built upon burial grounds as well as Target Kailua. I’d consider that land to be sacred but there were no protests against that. Shouldn’t people be standing in front of those grounds blocking it to stop others from supporting this desecration too?
I’ve also seen videos of people 4 wheel driving up Mauna Kea and snowboarding down the slopes. If the mountain is so sacred, who is protecting her from this kind of ravaging of the land? I don’t see anyone blocking these kids from doing that up there. Just visit YouTube and see how many people have done this up there.
I really suspect that too many people have not done their due diligence to research the facts about TMT at all. Hawaii Business Magazine did a great overview on why our state moved forward with this project. It’s about opportunities for our people. It’s about providing education also and diversifying an island that doesn’t have much of an economy. It’s about bringing science and technology to a part of our state that can make it a world renown place to make new discoveries.
While many of the protesters have extra time and money to protest, they aren’t seeing that they are depriving others from opportunities. Kaneohe isn’t suffering from limited jobs and a depressed economy but some people here are willing to deny others of that. Oahu isn’t anything like the Big Island and yet we city folk want to dictate to these folks what they should be doing.
Hawaii has opportunity to be a center of high technology that will indeed be making it a center of knowledge to the world. Knowledge itself brings a profound reverence in itself. I feel that we shouldn’t be protesting something that can give us more information, but we should embrace the desire for knowledge.
There is an estimated 40% of the prison population that are native Hawaiian. How can people malama their own so that these people too can enjoy the aina? If we don’t value education, what will prepare people for the future and keep them from a life of crime, drugs, poverty, and homelessness?
Hawaii isn’t known as the A’ole state. We should remember that we are the Aloha State!
**This is the aloha spirit, alive and well in the anti-TMT activists. As you can see, it’s not much different than the anti-GMO folks. Insulting and derogatory comments are just a reflection of the person who sent it.**
Something to think about…