I believe that the people trying to stop the Thirty Meter Telescope are being short-sighted and should look at this from a different angle.
Rather than just protect the mountain, they should be looking at the future and try to protect, preserve and maybe even spread the Hawaiian history and culture. There are already several world class telescopes up there, and because of that, about three celestial objects have been given Hawaiian names. Those names will last forever.
I have been to the top several times and it is a large area. The area for the TMT is already prepared, and when the TMT is no longer needed the area will be returned to it’s former settings.
Now what if we were to make a deal with the astronomers and have maybe half or a quarter of the discoveries given Hawaiian names?
The TMT will be many times more powerful than what we currently have on Earth or in the skies now and will be the most powerful in the world for years to come. Discoveries probably will be in the hundreds or thousands. Think of that: Hundreds or thousands of Hawaiian names spread across the skies — FOREVER!
People across the world will be reminded of how special Maunakea and Hawaii is, and many will be curious enough to learn of our history and culture.
Maybe we could even make a deal that the first Earth-like planet discovered be named Hawaii.
Now, I have no idea if we will ever try to colonize that planet, but science has broken speed barriers that were once considered unbreakable. But if we do, then those colonists would be called HAWAIIANS!
What better tribute could there be to honor the first Polynesians who braved unbelievable dangers and long distances to settle here?
And what if the TMT isn’t built here? As the years go by, all the races will be intermarrying and many will be moving off island and the “sacredness” of Maunakea will fade into history. Oh, well, at least we have three celestial objects with Hawaiian names.
Sometimes you give a little to gain a lot.
Byron Sako, Hilo