Local Connection: Conflict on Mauna Kea

Local Connection: The Conflict on Mauna Kea

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The resistance to the Thirty Meter Telescope is now being seen in Hawaii and around the world as the latest episode in a long history of abuse of the native people of Hawaii.

Many hoped for cooperative coexistence between a great astronomical instrument and a culture renowned for navigators who charted and followed the stars.

But our state clearly lacks the leadership needed to get to that ideal.

Perhaps there were just too many historic wrongs to find compromise at a place many see as already compromised too often. The prior mismanagement and neglect of Mauna Kea was well documented.

After the protest became a statewide movement, the governor’s decision to hand negotiations to Mayor Harry Kim looked more like surrender than strength

Given the current political environment there is no way anyone is willing to go through the terribly-divisive, militarized sweep of demonstrators that would now be necessary.

The TMT is in danger of becoming a national symbol for the mistreatment of native people. That’s not fair – but it’s a taint no company – let alone one run by sincerely caring scientists, could live with.

It’s sad all around – for the aspirations of science and for Hawaii as we deal once again with the ramifications of a tragic past.

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