Jason Momoa says he can’t shoot Aquaman 2 due to protesting (construction of a giant telescope on sacred Hawaiian land)

SolidSnakeBoy

Member
May 21, 2018
344
I think these discussions are healthy but some of the nuance in the current TMT situation is not being communicated.

The TMT project has been in the works for over 15 years, but Mauna Kea was selected as the site back in 2009. Since that time, it has undergone a rigorous environmental impact study and it worked extensively to accommodate the concerns of the local community. For example, the TMT construction site is not located on the exact summit of Mauna Kea, but at a position over a mile away to the NNE. Archeological studies have shown no previous cultural activity or burials at this location, and no species will be impacted by TMT's presence there. Also, the telescope enclosure will not be visible from lower elevations at that location. I believe it will also be painted to blend into the surroundings.

Mauna Kea is arguably the best astronomical observing location on Earth. It is a false equivalence to say it can be just moved to the Canary Islands. Moving TMT there would mean a lesser instrument, one that may not even warrant construction given the cost. Indeed, the weather on La Palma is poorer than on Mauna Kea, meaning fewer clear nights and worse image quality, and the lower elevation of La Palma means some projects, particularly studying exoplanets in the mid-infrared, will not be possible. Management of Mauna Kea has improved dramatically over the years that observatories have been there, with great deference and respect to native Hawaiian concerns. For example, all construction activities are accompanied by further activities to return any disturbed land to its natural state. This includes the decommissioning of telescopes, even TMT, in the future. Note also that the observatories are on public land, and their presence has not restricted access to the summit area to the public.

The native Hawaiians who are currently protesting have a right to do so. The protestors who were arrested were cited for illegally blocking a public road, not because they were protesting. The arrests were done on the third day of protest, after they were asked repeatedly to not block the road. Those who were arrested, especially the elders, were handled very respectfully and soon released - there was no violence. The arresting officers were from local police. The National Guard was called up, but not to interact with the protestors but instead to provide logistical support to the local police effort.

Though Hawaii has had an unfortunate history where native concerns have not been considered by those in power (to put it mildly), the TMT project has tried to work differently. It recognized from the very beginning that native community engagement is important. For example, TMT will be funding the THINK program, providing up to $1M / year to support education within the local community. In addition, it has begun a Workforce Pipeline Program to steer Hawaiians into science and technology jobs. I believe it is also the aim of the project to staff the facility with locals. The project will be an economic benefit to the local community.

TMT followed the rules laid down by the State of Hawaii, including affirmation of its building permit by the Hawaii Supreme Court. It has not acted unilaterally in its development without regard to native concerns. Hopefully, the project will continue to engage with the protestors to communicate its net benefits to Hawaii and its native community. The project and its international backers, however, can only do so much. Ultimately, it will be up to Hawaiians themselves to decide if the project will go forward there.

For further details on the TMT project, see http://www.maunakeaandtmt.org.
And we are done.
 

Doomsayer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,627
I think these discussions are healthy but some of the nuance in the current TMT situation is not being communicated.

The TMT project has been in the works for over 15 years, but Mauna Kea was selected as the site back in 2009. Since that time, it has undergone a rigorous environmental impact study and it worked extensively to accommodate the concerns of the local community. For example, the TMT construction site is not located on the exact summit of Mauna Kea, but at a position over a mile away to the NNE. Archeological studies have shown no previous cultural activity or burials at this location, and no species will be impacted by TMT's presence there. Also, the telescope enclosure will not be visible from lower elevations at that location. I believe it will also be painted to blend into the surroundings.

Mauna Kea is arguably the best astronomical observing location on Earth. It is a false equivalence to say it can be just moved to the Canary Islands. Moving TMT there would mean a lesser instrument, one that may not even warrant construction given the cost. Indeed, the weather on La Palma is poorer than on Mauna Kea, meaning fewer clear nights and worse image quality, and the lower elevation of La Palma means some projects, particularly studying exoplanets in the mid-infrared, will not be possible. Management of Mauna Kea has improved dramatically over the years that observatories have been there, with great deference and respect to native Hawaiian concerns. For example, all construction activities are accompanied by further activities to return any disturbed land to its natural state. This includes the decommissioning of telescopes, even TMT, in the future. Note also that the observatories are on public land, and their presence has not restricted access to the summit area to the public.

The native Hawaiians who are currently protesting have a right to do so. The protestors who were arrested were cited for illegally blocking a public road, not because they were protesting. The arrests were done on the third day of protest, after they were asked repeatedly to not block the road. Those who were arrested, especially the elders, were handled very respectfully and soon released - there was no violence. The arresting officers were from local police. The National Guard was called up, but not to interact with the protestors but instead to provide logistical support to the local police effort.

Though Hawaii has had an unfortunate history where native concerns have not been considered by those in power (to put it mildly), the TMT project has tried to work differently. It recognized from the very beginning that native community engagement is important. For example, TMT will be funding the THINK program, providing up to $1M / year to support education within the local community. In addition, it has begun a Workforce Pipeline Program to steer Hawaiians into science and technology jobs. I believe it is also the aim of the project to staff the facility with locals. The project will be an economic benefit to the local community.

TMT followed the rules laid down by the State of Hawaii, including affirmation of its building permit by the Hawaii Supreme Court. It has not acted unilaterally in its development without regard to native concerns. Hopefully, the project will continue to engage with the protestors to communicate its net benefits to Hawaii and its native community. The project and its international backers, however, can only do so much. Ultimately, it will be up to Hawaiians themselves to decide if the project will go forward there.

For further details on the TMT project, see http://www.maunakeaandtmt.org.
Sounds like something a colonizer would say.
 

weirder

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
2,709
This is a beautiful post, thank you for taking the time to write all this out.

Unfortunately I think a lot of posters in this thread already have their mind made up because of some misguided sense of righteousness.
A "misguided sense of righteousness" because few people would have legitimate reasons to support these Native Hawaiian protestors?
 
Nov 1, 2017
556
Whyar you even posting in this topic when you showed you clearly dont give a damn an just want to mock people addressing a serious issue
Some people seem to think that the info from the TMT site negates everything that was said. Even though it was already talked about earlier in the topic that they were contributing to the economy, schools and other programs for the indigenous population. Yet amongst that group there is still a lot of opposition. I guess we moved on from saying that it was a majority of native Hawaiians supporting it since the latest survey didn't show that.
 

SolidSnakeBoy

Member
May 21, 2018
344
Some people seem to think that the info from the TMT site negates everything that was said. Even though it was already talked about earlier in the topic that they were contributing to the economy, schools and other programs for the indigenous population. Yet amongst that group there is still a lot of opposition. I guess we moved on from saying that it was a majority of native Hawaiians supporting it since the latest survey didn't show that.
I do not think anyone has said that information negates the concerns raised in here. It just highlights that the project has had a lot of considerations and planning to minimize negative impacts on the land, and in fact will help the people who live near the observatory economically. A lot of the discussion has been framed from a point of view of this telescope being a forced venture, which it clearly has not, this post dispels that notion. It is clear that this is a project that simply needs more dialog and concessions by both sides to go ahead, but people on both sides of the issue here do not seem to realize the nuance at hand.
 
Nov 1, 2017
556
I do not think anyone has said that information negates the concerns raised in here. It just highlights that the project has had a lot of considerations and planning to minimize negative impacts on the land, and in fact will help the people who live near the observatory economically. A lot of the discussion has been framed from a point of view of this telescope being a forced venture, which it clearly has not, this post dispels that notion. It is clear that this is a project that simply needs more dialog and concessions by both sides to go ahead, but people on both sides of the issue here do not seem to realize the nuance at hand.
I can at least say for myself that one of the first things I did was to look at the project's website when people mentioned their efforts before. One of the major differences between the contention of native Hawaiians and the project working with organizations is that just because you partner with nonprofits, it doesn't mean they accurately represent the views of the people they wish to serve.

I've been a part of efforts where we've had to push back against others because they are excited to help out a cause or group but they didn't take the people they were representing into account. It was a good thing we were able to too otherwise they would have pissed off a lot of the Latino community in my area. So it could be that they worked with multiple groups that represent native Hawaiians' interests during this process but that those groups views don't align with the population at large/perceived the benefits would be viewed more positively than they are.
 

weirder

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
2,709
Searched to see if any of the Democratic primary candidates have spoken on this issue.
Gabbard was there last Sunday.
...on Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard visited activists at Mauna Kea.

Gabbard said, “what is happening here is about so much more than just a telescope,” adding that it’s about maintaining sacred spaces.
This is the second time I've seen her speak up for Indigenous peoples. Maybe it is a serious part of her campaign.

Protecting Indigenous sacred spaces is also part of Williamson's campaign and is stated clearly on her campaign website. She tweeted about TMT a few weeks back.

Couldn't find any others with a quick search. Anyone know if any other Democratic candidates have spoken on this?
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,435
Brooklyn
Searched to see if any of the Democratic primary candidates have spoken on this issue.
Gabbard was there last Sunday.

This is the second time I've seen her speak up for Indigenous peoples. Maybe it is a serious part of her campaign.

Protecting Indigenous sacred spaces is also part of Williamson's campaign and is stated clearly on her campaign website. She tweeted about TMT a few weeks back.

Couldn't find any others with a quick search. Anyone know if any other Democratic candidates have spoken on this?
Isn't she candidate that's more of a conservative than a democrat, but running like a democrat? I don't remember all these candidates.
 

Funyarinpa

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
7,816
There's an important aspect some posters here are missing.

I think it's presumptuous, arrogant even, to act like the protestors would not be aware of the promised benefits of the TMT, and its promises of Native Hawaiian engagement and better environmental conservation. What most of us here know is cursory information, and even as someone who stands to gain a lot in his line of work from the TMT (as someone studying to be an astrophysicist) it's easy for me to tell that this issue is far more important to Native Hawaiians than a few posters on Resetera. I think we can trust them to do the research better than any of us.

Yes, TMT would be inferior if built anywhere else. That would mean that the telescope didn't reach its full potential. I care about the TMT. I sincerely want it to succeed and become a pioneer of astrophysical observation for decades to come, and that's precisely one of the reasons why I don't want its legacy to be tainted with the knowledge that every single pixel it records was taken without the certain consent of the Native Hawaiian community.

The TMT's promises change nothing about the Native Hawaiian community's right to determine what happens to a mountain central to their culture. (Yes, Native Hawaiians who support the TMT do exist, but my point is that there's no consensus among the Natives in favor of its construction.)

If it were my culture; if it were my mountain, as it were, I would support the TMT, but that doesn't matter either, because the Hawaiian people are the ones with the right to decide.

And this might be presumptuous, but I would not be surprised if after seeing telescopes installed on the mountain without heed to the Native population's worries, desires or interests for decades, the telescopes themselves became a sign of oppression and cultural erasure.

As a consequence, the presence of the TMT would still cause pain, even if it delivered on all of its promises.

Delivering on all of them is basically impossible, by the way. You can't build a telescope directly against the wishes of many the Native local population and then claim you're listening to Native voices. No amount of monetary contribution or 'community engagement' will really remedy the fact that it was (well, would be) installed there with police used to dispel protests and the Coast Guard called in against Hawaii's own people. You're not listening to someone if you're actively silencing or ignoring them.

I can't blame Native Hawaiians for not wanting the TMT on Maunakea--even if it's environmentally friendly, even if the particular place it'll be on isn't technically 'the summit' or is without significant cultural/historical artifacts put at risk or is not visible from most of the Island. People are trying to paint anti-TMT activism as some sort of 'unfair' stance (for lack of a better term) because the benefit the TMT would provide to science is seen as more valuable and significant than whatever cultural impact Native Hawaiians would suffer--- well, I'm pretty sure that disregarding the value of Hawaiian culture (even if you're talking about a location that's 'not technically the summit' or 'not containing cultural artifacts') is what got us to this point.

It does, ultimately, tie into colonialism on Hawaii, and what can I fucking say? It does suck that the TMT not being on Maunakea will mean we'll miss out on tons of data, it's a shame, but astronomy is rather far down the list of things harmed severely by colonialism on Hawaii.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
I think these discussions are healthy but some of the nuance in the current TMT situation is not being communicated.

The TMT project has been in the works for over 15 years, but Mauna Kea was selected as the site back in 2009. Since that time, it has undergone a rigorous environmental impact study and it worked extensively to accommodate the concerns of the local community. For example, the TMT construction site is not located on the exact summit of Mauna Kea, but at a position over a mile away to the NNE. Archeological studies have shown no previous cultural activity or burials at this location, and no species will be impacted by TMT's presence there. Also, the telescope enclosure will not be visible from lower elevations at that location. I believe it will also be painted to blend into the surroundings.

Mauna Kea is arguably the best astronomical observing location on Earth. It is a false equivalence to say it can be just moved to the Canary Islands. Moving TMT there would mean a lesser instrument, one that may not even warrant construction given the cost. Indeed, the weather on La Palma is poorer than on Mauna Kea, meaning fewer clear nights and worse image quality, and the lower elevation of La Palma means some projects, particularly studying exoplanets in the mid-infrared, will not be possible. Management of Mauna Kea has improved dramatically over the years that observatories have been there, with great deference and respect to native Hawaiian concerns. For example, all construction activities are accompanied by further activities to return any disturbed land to its natural state. This includes the decommissioning of telescopes, even TMT, in the future. Note also that the observatories are on public land, and their presence has not restricted access to the summit area to the public.

The native Hawaiians who are currently protesting have a right to do so. The protestors who were arrested were cited for illegally blocking a public road, not because they were protesting. The arrests were done on the third day of protest, after they were asked repeatedly to not block the road. Those who were arrested, especially the elders, were handled very respectfully and soon released - there was no violence. The arresting officers were from local police. The National Guard was called up, but not to interact with the protestors but instead to provide logistical support to the local police effort.

Though Hawaii has had an unfortunate history where native concerns have not been considered by those in power (to put it mildly), the TMT project has tried to work differently. It recognized from the very beginning that native community engagement is important. For example, TMT will be funding the THINK program, providing up to $1M / year to support education within the local community. In addition, it has begun a Workforce Pipeline Program to steer Hawaiians into science and technology jobs. I believe it is also the aim of the project to staff the facility with locals. The project will be an economic benefit to the local community.

TMT followed the rules laid down by the State of Hawaii, including affirmation of its building permit by the Hawaii Supreme Court. It has not acted unilaterally in its development without regard to native concerns. Hopefully, the project will continue to engage with the protestors to communicate its net benefits to Hawaii and its native community. The project and its international backers, however, can only do so much. Ultimately, it will be up to Hawaiians themselves to decide if the project will go forward there.

For further details on the TMT project, see http://www.maunakeaandtmt.org.
LOLZ...This looks like it was written by the PR team.

I'd say that if people are still willing to get arrested over this, the matter isn't as settled as you may think.
 

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
5,669
There's an important aspect some posters here are missing.

I think it's presumptuous, arrogant even, to act like the protestors would not be aware of the promised benefits of the TMT, and its promises of Native Hawaiian engagement and better environmental conservation. What most of us here know is cursory information, and even as someone who stands to gain a lot in his line of work from the TMT (as someone studying to be an astrophysicist) it's easy for me to tell that this issue is far more important to Native Hawaiians than a few posters on Resetera. I think we can trust them to do the research better than any of us.

Yes, TMT would be inferior if built anywhere else. That would mean that the telescope didn't reach its full potential. I care about the TMT. I sincerely want it to succeed and become a pioneer of astrophysical observation for decades to come, and that's precisely one of the reasons why I don't want its legacy to be tainted with the knowledge that every single pixel it records was taken without the certain consent of the Native Hawaiian community.

The TMT's promises change nothing about the Native Hawaiian community's right to determine what happens to a mountain central to their culture. (Yes, Native Hawaiians who support the TMT do exist, but my point is that there's no consensus among the Natives in favor of its construction.)

If it were my culture; if it were my mountain, as it were, I would support the TMT, but that doesn't matter either, because the Hawaiian people are the ones with the right to decide.

And this might be presumptuous, but I would not be surprised if after seeing telescopes installed on the mountain without heed to the Native population's worries, desires or interests for decades, the telescopes themselves became a sign of oppression and cultural erasure.

As a consequence, the presence of the TMT would still cause pain, even if it delivered on all of its promises.

Delivering on all of them is basically impossible, by the way. You can't build a telescope directly against the wishes of many the Native local population and then claim you're listening to Native voices. No amount of monetary contribution or 'community engagement' will really remedy the fact that it was (well, would be) installed there with police used to dispel protests and the Coast Guard called in against Hawaii's own people. You're not listening to someone if you're actively silencing or ignoring them.

I can't blame Native Hawaiians for not wanting the TMT on Maunakea--even if it's environmentally friendly, even if the particular place it'll be on isn't technically 'the summit' or is without significant cultural/historical artifacts put at risk or is not visible from most of the Island. People are trying to paint anti-TMT activism as some sort of 'unfair' stance (for lack of a better term) because the benefit the TMT would provide to science is seen as more valuable and significant than whatever cultural impact Native Hawaiians would suffer--- well, I'm pretty sure that disregarding the value of Hawaiian culture (even if you're talking about a location that's 'not technically the summit' or 'not containing cultural artifacts') is what got us to this point.

It does, ultimately, tie into colonialism on Hawaii, and what can I fucking say? It does suck that the TMT not being on Maunakea will mean we'll miss out on tons of data, it's a shame, but astronomy is rather far down the list of things harmed severely by colonialism on Hawaii.
Excellent post. You get it.
 

Loudninja

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,928
There's an important aspect some posters here are missing.

I think it's presumptuous, arrogant even, to act like the protestors would not be aware of the promised benefits of the TMT, and its promises of Native Hawaiian engagement and better environmental conservation. What most of us here know is cursory information, and even as someone who stands to gain a lot in his line of work from the TMT (as someone studying to be an astrophysicist) it's easy for me to tell that this issue is far more important to Native Hawaiians than a few posters on Resetera. I think we can trust them to do the research better than any of us.

Yes, TMT would be inferior if built anywhere else. That would mean that the telescope didn't reach its full potential. I care about the TMT. I sincerely want it to succeed and become a pioneer of astrophysical observation for decades to come, and that's precisely one of the reasons why I don't want its legacy to be tainted with the knowledge that every single pixel it records was taken without the certain consent of the Native Hawaiian community.

The TMT's promises change nothing about the Native Hawaiian community's right to determine what happens to a mountain central to their culture. (Yes, Native Hawaiians who support the TMT do exist, but my point is that there's no consensus among the Natives in favor of its construction.)

If it were my culture; if it were my mountain, as it were, I would support the TMT, but that doesn't matter either, because the Hawaiian people are the ones with the right to decide.

And this might be presumptuous, but I would not be surprised if after seeing telescopes installed on the mountain without heed to the Native population's worries, desires or interests for decades, the telescopes themselves became a sign of oppression and cultural erasure.

As a consequence, the presence of the TMT would still cause pain, even if it delivered on all of its promises.

Delivering on all of them is basically impossible, by the way. You can't build a telescope directly against the wishes of many the Native local population and then claim you're listening to Native voices. No amount of monetary contribution or 'community engagement' will really remedy the fact that it was (well, would be) installed there with police used to dispel protests and the Coast Guard called in against Hawaii's own people. You're not listening to someone if you're actively silencing or ignoring them.

I can't blame Native Hawaiians for not wanting the TMT on Maunakea--even if it's environmentally friendly, even if the particular place it'll be on isn't technically 'the summit' or is without significant cultural/historical artifacts put at risk or is not visible from most of the Island. People are trying to paint anti-TMT activism as some sort of 'unfair' stance (for lack of a better term) because the benefit the TMT would provide to science is seen as more valuable and significant than whatever cultural impact Native Hawaiians would suffer--- well, I'm pretty sure that disregarding the value of Hawaiian culture (even if you're talking about a location that's 'not technically the summit' or 'not containing cultural artifacts') is what got us to this point.

It does, ultimately, tie into colonialism on Hawaii, and what can I fucking say? It does suck that the TMT not being on Maunakea will mean we'll miss out on tons of data, it's a shame, but astronomy is rather far down the list of things harmed severely by colonialism on Hawaii.
Yep this is a fantastic post, no matter what if they build it there it will always be seen as a negative symbol direct opposite of that they are going for.

Also who knows what other big issues this will cause in the future.
 

Middleman

Member
Jun 14, 2019
425
Some people seem to think that the info from the TMT site negates everything that was said. Even though it was already talked about earlier in the topic that they were contributing to the economy, schools and other programs for the indigenous population. Yet amongst that group there is still a lot of opposition. I guess we moved on from saying that it was a majority of native Hawaiians supporting it since the latest survey didn't show that.
Nobody is saying the benefits of the TMT "negate" the native Hawaiians' concerns. Most people supporting the TMT at least acknowledge that it's a nuanced issue.

Conversely it's the other side dropping glib drivebys about colonizers, 'white people' and cultural ignorance, who refuse to acknowledge that there is any balance to this equation.

As for your comment about the data, I can only laugh. Nobody has 'moved on' because you managed to dig up an outlier poll which contradicts all other data available on the issue.
 

StargazerXL

Member
Jun 11, 2018
14
Thanks for everyone's comments. Funyarinpa, I hope you did not find my earlier post to be arrogant or presumptuous. I intended to provide further information about the TMT situation to the posters here, and not speak for the protestors themselves. It is an interesting point to raise about who has the right to decide about the mountain though. Note again that the project received the go-ahead from the highest court in the State of Hawaii which serves all the people of Hawaii, natives included. Cultural significance certainly gives a community considerable leverage in a discussion but I don't believe it alone gives it a right to determine how any resource is used.

The project is currently in a "wait and see" posture. It is not putting the protestors in danger by advancing construction equipment. No protestors have been arrested since that third day of protest. There has been no violence. It is simply not going forward in the face of widespread protest in Hawaii, possibly for the reasons Funyarinpa articulated. As I said earlier, it will be up to Hawaiians to decide among themselves if they want this project to proceed. My hope is that the protestors can be convinced of its benefits by their brethren, as many of have been. Rather than seeing TMT (or any observatory) as a source of pain, I hope the protestors will see the scientific, economic, and cultural benefits of sharing the mountain with it. I say this not to disregard or diminish Hawaiian culture in favor of science but to note that it may be possible to have both in the same location.
 
Last edited:

Amiablepercy

Member
Nov 4, 2017
2,572
California
There's an important aspect some posters here are missing.

I think it's presumptuous, arrogant even, to act like the protestors would not be aware of the promised benefits of the TMT, and its promises of Native Hawaiian engagement and better environmental conservation. What most of us here know is cursory information, and even as someone who stands to gain a lot in his line of work from the TMT (as someone studying to be an astrophysicist) it's easy for me to tell that this issue is far more important to Native Hawaiians than a few posters on Resetera. I think we can trust them to do the research better than any of us.

Yes, TMT would be inferior if built anywhere else. That would mean that the telescope didn't reach its full potential. I care about the TMT. I sincerely want it to succeed and become a pioneer of astrophysical observation for decades to come, and that's precisely one of the reasons why I don't want its legacy to be tainted with the knowledge that every single pixel it records was taken without the certain consent of the Native Hawaiian community.

The TMT's promises change nothing about the Native Hawaiian community's right to determine what happens to a mountain central to their culture. (Yes, Native Hawaiians who support the TMT do exist, but my point is that there's no consensus among the Natives in favor of its construction.)

If it were my culture; if it were my mountain, as it were, I would support the TMT, but that doesn't matter either, because the Hawaiian people are the ones with the right to decide.

And this might be presumptuous, but I would not be surprised if after seeing telescopes installed on the mountain without heed to the Native population's worries, desires or interests for decades, the telescopes themselves became a sign of oppression and cultural erasure.

As a consequence, the presence of the TMT would still cause pain, even if it delivered on all of its promises.

Delivering on all of them is basically impossible, by the way. You can't build a telescope directly against the wishes of many the Native local population and then claim you're listening to Native voices. No amount of monetary contribution or 'community engagement' will really remedy the fact that it was (well, would be) installed there with police used to dispel protests and the Coast Guard called in against Hawaii's own people. You're not listening to someone if you're actively silencing or ignoring them.

I can't blame Native Hawaiians for not wanting the TMT on Maunakea--even if it's environmentally friendly, even if the particular place it'll be on isn't technically 'the summit' or is without significant cultural/historical artifacts put at risk or is not visible from most of the Island. People are trying to paint anti-TMT activism as some sort of 'unfair' stance (for lack of a better term) because the benefit the TMT would provide to science is seen as more valuable and significant than whatever cultural impact Native Hawaiians would suffer--- well, I'm pretty sure that disregarding the value of Hawaiian culture (even if you're talking about a location that's 'not technically the summit' or 'not containing cultural artifacts') is what got us to this point.

It does, ultimately, tie into colonialism on Hawaii, and what can I fucking say? It does suck that the TMT not being on Maunakea will mean we'll miss out on tons of data, it's a shame, but astronomy is rather far down the list of things harmed severely by colonialism on Hawaii.
Really well put.
 
Nov 1, 2017
556
Nobody is saying the benefits of the TMT "negate" the native Hawaiians' concerns. Most people supporting the TMT at least acknowledge that it's a nuanced issue.

Conversely it's the other side dropping glib drivebys about colonizers, 'white people' and cultural ignorance, who refuse to acknowledge that there is any balance to this equation.

As for your comment about the data, I can only laugh. Nobody has 'moved on' because you managed to dig up an outlier poll which contradicts all other data available on the issue.
I have said nothing about colonizers. I asked for the degree that their work would be hindered by having to have it in another location. We've discussed what 3 polls in this thread? A poll from 2016 that had support 46/45, the 2018 poll that had support at 72/23 and a 2019 poll that had support at 44/48. What other ones have you found that show majority support among native Hawaiians similar to the 2018 one from Mason Dixon?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
Thanks for everyone's comments. Funyarinpa, I hope you did not find my earlier post to be arrogant or presumptuous. I intended to provide further information about the TMT situation to the posters here, and not speak for the protestors themselves. It is an interesting point to raise about who has the right to decide about the mountain though. Note again that the project received the go-ahead from the highest court in the State of Hawaii which serves all the people of Hawaii, natives included. Cultural significance certainly gives a community considerable leverage in a discussion but I don't believe it alone gives it a right to determine how any resource is used.

The project is currently in a "wait and see" posture. It is not putting the protestors in danger by advancing construction equipment. No protestors have been arrested since that third day of protest. There has been no violence. It is simply not going forward in the face of widespread protest in Hawaii, possibly for the reasons Funyarinpa articulated. As I said earlier, it will be up to Hawaiians to decide among themselves if they want this project to proceed. My hope is that the protestors can be convinced of its benefits by their brethren, as many of have been. Rather than seeing TMT (or any observatory) as a source of pain, I hope the protestors will see the scientific, economic, and cultural benefits of sharing the mountain with it.
Why should we put the onus on the oppressed to sacrifice even more than they already have? They owe us NOTHING. We systematically stole their land, destroyed their culture, exterminated their people, and broke promises like we always do. They said no and it needs to be respected. It's not hard people.
 

Funyarinpa

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
7,816
I want to elaborate on a personal aspect of this issue, which isn't really relevant to the actually significant aspects of this whole thing- I wrote that wall of text mainly to articulate my own complicated feelings on the matter. Because I sincerely want the TMT to be a thing, and even if it is built on Mauna Kea, however tainted by the political and social ramifications its existence might bring, the data it brings will be breathtaking. To restate a point made above, I want to be proud of the TMT.

If I didn't think it had been a point of discussion long past by now, I'd want to advocate for its existence (with more than all the requisite measures taken for cultural, environmental, etc. preservation) directly to the Hawaiian people somehow. Strictly speaking, in terms of solely my personal values, feelings and ambitions, I'd want to see the TMT on Mauna Kea. And every time I think about that, I need to run the facts down to myself to re-emphasize the cultural and social context of what's happening. It might seem unfair, even spiteful, but the Hawaiian people have good reason to be spiteful, I think. They don't owe fairness to anyone, especially when they're still being governed by the country that colonized them.

I see people everywhere on the internet make arguments about whether the proposed location of the telescope is culturally and environmentally impactful or not and such, and I think there's merit to such discussions, but I also believe that all such proposals and arguments only really carry weight when brought directly to (and perhaps, directly by) Native Hawaiians who stand to be directly impacted by any environmental/cultural impact the telescope on the mountain.

If such talks were to happen someday among Native Hawaiians, I'd celebrate them. I wish they would happen. But I think/hope that I also understand how the Hawaiian history of colonization, of cultural subjugation, of reckless and unilateral construction of telescopes on the summit in the decades before (let alone Native Hawaiian customs, history and culture) make these talks something Native Hawaiians do not want to, and by all means are entitled to not (want to) have. (Many reasons, from environmental concerns to spiritual belief to simply not wanting further foreign buildings on the mountain due to hating their sight/presence as a result of colonalism...)

Perhaps if Mauna Kea and Hawaiians hadn't been mistreated so severely in the past, if they hadn't been colonized, if previous (to my understanding, not as important) telescopes hadn't been, so to speak, imposed on the mountain, the Native Hawaiians today would be open to hosting the TMT. Perhaps there would be talks and then it would be celebrated. The thought, honestly, pains me, because I'm more of an astronomer than a Hawaiian, factually speaking.

Perhaps if people hadn't been subjected to such brutality in the past, we could've been in a position today where both scientists who want the TMT and Hawaiians (not to imply the two don't intersect) could've come to an understanding where both sides got what they wanted. It's painful to think about how we perhaps missed that chance, but that sadness is just one of the many tragedies-by-proxy inflicted by colonialism, and the astronomy/science community at large probably has no right complaining to the Hawaiians about it when the selfsame colonialism has harmed Hawaiians themselves on an entirely incomparable (astronomic, if you will) scale.

So yeah. I'm sad. I'm sad it is this way, but at the end, even if the TMT will take photos that will forever dazzle me, when I look at them and mull on why I love astronomy and space so much, I don't want to think about how people have been trampled upon so that we can look at the stars, and feel some sort of guilt or at the very least sympathy and sadness.

I wish I could make everyone on Earth want the TMT as much as I do, so that some sort of mutual understanding, empathy and gain could be reached to put it on Mauna Kea so that everyone could wonder at the new things we find out about the heavens, but history and colonialism just isn't as simple as that.

(If this seems like rambling or making things unduly about myself, I apologize. It's just that astronomy is a very personal topic for me, so this is a topic I care about a lot, and perhaps as a student in the field something I could offer a unique perspective in.)

Thanks for everyone's comments. Funyarinpa, I hope you did not find my earlier post to be arrogant or presumptuous. I intended to provide further information about the TMT situation to the posters here, and not speak for the protestors themselves. It is an interesting point to raise about who has the right to decide about the mountain though. Note again that the project received the go-ahead from the highest court in the State of Hawaii which serves all the people of Hawaii, natives included. Cultural significance certainly gives a community considerable leverage in a discussion but I don't believe it alone gives it a right to determine how any resource is used.

The project is currently in a "wait and see" posture. It is not putting the protestors in danger by advancing construction equipment. No protestors have been arrested since that third day of protest. There has been no violence. It is simply not going forward in the face of widespread protest in Hawaii, possibly for the reasons Funyarinpa articulated. As I said earlier, it will be up to Hawaiians to decide among themselves if they want this project to proceed. My hope is that the protestors can be convinced of its benefits by their brethren, as many of have been. Rather than seeing TMT (or any observatory) as a source of pain, I hope the protestors will see the scientific, economic, and cultural benefits of sharing the mountain with it.
I think providing information, especially about the TMT itself, is good! Explaining to someone why the TMT would be/will be a major boon to astrophysics (wherever it's built) is basically astronomy education, and that's a wonderful thing.

My point with regards to your post is that what you and I post about when it comes to this issue is extremely basic stuff. It's stuff probably every protester out there has already gone over, pored over many times (or perhaps didn't even have to, out of an innate understanding). It isn't a gotcha or any sort of valid reasoning to refute the cause of the protesters. You and I can talk it out for pages and pages but it won't change a thing about the legitimacy of the protest. (Many of the) Native Hawaiians, the sole people with the power to determine the aspects of their own culture, decided that they don't want the TMT. You and I might disagree with their reasoning or not relate to it, but their reasoning prevails, because it's their culture.

In short, the issue isn't that the protesters "don't see the scientific benefits". They do. They fucking understand science and how it works, and they have weighed that against the cultural, environmental and political ramifications of hosting the TMT, and decided that the TMT isn't worth it. That's the issue many people in the thread find offensive here, because it makes some people (not necessarily you) sound like they think anyone must be uneducated about science to decide a scientific enterprise isn't worth more than a cultural landmark, because if they knew science they'd surely agree with me that the telescope is a must and worth more than things of cultural value, riight? (/s after the last comma)



 

SolidSnakeBoy

Member
May 21, 2018
344
Why should we put the onus on the oppressed to sacrifice even more than they already have? They owe us NOTHING. We systematically stole their land, destroyed their culture, exterminated their people, and broke promises like we always do. They said no and it needs to be respected. It's not hard people.
The telescope affects other inhabitants of Hawaii, aswell. People who did not partake in the colonization of the land. These people could be greatly aided by the programs laid out, and would also consider the island their home and part of their culture. These diverse interests are represented by local and state entities and have given their approval. Ultimately do they not get a say on anything related to their own homes? I mean the culture of a place is not static, it evolves with the people than inhabit the land. I will never condone the way in which Hawaii was colonized and how new cultures and ideas were forced on them, but we can't place the burden of that on a generation that did not partake in that forever. Ultimately the question is about coexistence and I think that there is room for that on a project like this, which is taking effort to ensure that the existing culture and beliefs are not impacted. In the end I think the people who are affect should get a vote on what to do. Please do not take my words as a repudiation of the importance and history that native Hawaiian's culture, but merely a point of understanding the broader impact of the telescope .
 

Funyarinpa

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
7,816
Define 'they', because at absolute most, maybe half of native Hawaiians have 'said no'.

Do the other half - and possibly a majority - who have said yes also need to be respected?
Not the same way.

Perhaps a stunted analogy, but think of how bodily consent works. You don't have to be saying "no" to be answer to be "no". Any absence of "yes" is a "no".

A similar case applies here. The choice isn't between two different choices, it's between an action and inaction, and since whether or not you commit to the said action (construction of the TMT) is something that's in people's hands, making the change has to be the choice that needs to be justfied and not the other way around.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
Define 'they', because at absolute most, maybe half of native Hawaiians have 'said no'.

Do the other half - and possibly a majority - who have said yes also need to be respected?
I already qualified my statement and we're still waiting for you to explain this:
The telescope affects other inhabitants of Hawaii, aswell. People who did not partake in the colonization of the land. These people could be greatly aided by the programs laid out, and would also consider the island their home and part of their culture. These diverse interests are represented by local and state entities and have given their approval. Ultimately do they not get a say on anything related to their own homes? I mean the culture of a place is not static, it evolves with the people than inhabit the land. I will never condone the way in which Hawaii was colonized and how new cultures and ideas were forced on them, but we can't place the burden of that on a generation that did not partake in that forever. Ultimately the question is about coexistence and I think that there is room for that on a project like this, which is taking effort to ensure that the existing culture and beliefs are not impacted. In the end I think the people who are affect should get a vote on what to do. Please do not take my words as a repudiation of the importance and history that native Hawaiian's culture, but merely a point of understanding the broader impact of the telescope .
You can help the native inhabitants without building a telescope. Again, why should the oppressed have to be the bigger people? You're arguing that white people don't have to do the heavy lifting despite being the ones that continually prop up a system of oppression. Why are the oppressors entitled to understanding while the oppressed must allow continued oppression? That's bullshit.
 

Zornack

Member
Oct 29, 2017
695
Not the same way.

Perhaps a stunted analogy, but think of how bodily consent works. You don't have to be saying "no" to be answer to be "no". Any absence of "yes" is a "no".

A similar case applies here. The choice isn't between two different choices, it's between an action and inaction, and since whether or not you commit to the said action (construction of the TMT) is something that's in people's hands, making the change has to be the choice that needs to be justfied and not the other way around.
...what? This is some absurd logic to delegitimize the 45+% of native Hawaiins who are in support of TMT.
 

SolidSnakeBoy

Member
May 21, 2018
344
I already qualified my statement and we're still waiting for you to explain this:


You can help the native inhabitants without building a telescope. Again, why should the oppressed have to be the bigger people? You're arguing that white people don't have to do the heavy lifting despite being the ones that continually prop up a system of oppression. Why are the oppressors entitled to understanding while the oppressed must allow continued oppression? That's bullshit.

My point is that a lot of the discussion here is equating the parties who are not the native Hawaiian's with being white imperialist oppressors, and not as being other inhabitants of a very diverse region. There is a cost to not building the telescope to those other parties in the form of economic incentives (native Hawaiian's who support of the telescope also fall under this). The equation then is not as one sided once you realize that you would be depriving of a very tangible benefit to those people. You could argue that they should provide the stimulus with no strings attached, but the committee in charge of this telescope does not have any obligation to do that and it makes no sense to have that expectation of them.
 

Ether_Snake

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,686
It's ok, have the locals vote on it, and if the majority is against then don't build it and move the money to something else. Simple.

The end.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
My point is that a lot of the discussion here is equating the parties who are not the native Hawaiian's with being white imperialist oppressors, and not as being other inhabitants of a very diverse region. There is a cost to not building the telescope to those other parties in the form of economic incentives (native Hawaiian's who support of the telescope also fall under this). The equation then is not as one sided once you realize that you would be depriving of a very tangible benefit to those people. You could argue that they should provide the stimulus with no strings attached, but the committee in charge of this telescope does not have any obligation to do that and it makes no sense to have that expectation of them.
I said in a previous post that if we really wanted to help people that need it the most, we should be taxing the power elite to subsidize and stabilize the material conditions of said people.

And you're side-stepping the question of why the oppressed should allow themselves to be further oppressed. I'm well aware of the racial demographics of Hawaii and how it got that way.
 

Ether_Snake

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,686
The local government and the state government have already ratified it, and the supreme court has also ratified it. Theres not much more you can do as a representative democracy than that.
If locals make such a big deal about it, then yeah it's worth having them vote on it. Can't expect to have the police escort people to work every day. So go ahead and hold a vote, whoever has the majority wins. Done.
 

SolidSnakeBoy

Member
May 21, 2018
344
I said in a previous post that if we really wanted to help people that need it the most, we should be taxing the power elite to subsidize and stabilize the material conditions of said people.

And you're side-stepping the question of why the oppressed should allow themselves to be further oppressed. I'm well aware of the racial demographics of Hawaii and how it got that way.
I think the oppressed should not let themselves continue to be oppressed. But I want to highlight that in doing so there is a cost to others that goes beyond the spiritual and is quite tangible, and thus should not be easily dismissed.

I do not disagree on your position of taxing to provide for people. I am simply pointing out that help is being offered as a part of this project and that should factor into the consideration of this situation.
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
8,061
Wisconsin
Not the same way.

Perhaps a stunted analogy, but think of how bodily consent works. You don't have to be saying "no" to be answer to be "no". Any absence of "yes" is a "no".

A similar case applies here. The choice isn't between two different choices, it's between an action and inaction, and since whether or not you commit to the said action (construction of the TMT) is something that's in people's hands, making the change has to be the choice that needs to be justfied and not the other way around.
That is indeed a horrible analogy.

Inaction is a form of action, it has opportunity costs like anything else. By choosing not to move forward there will be lost potential, in the form of hundreds of millions in international funding, a loss which local supporters of the project will require opponents to justify. Should the changes to the status quo be more justified than those of not changing the status quo? Sure, but they still need to be put into context

The local government and the state government have already ratified it, and the supreme court has also ratified it. Theres not much more you can do as a representative democracy than that.
You could do a referendum, but that would effectively have the same problems people already have with the process anyway
 
Mar 3, 2019
37
I said in a previous post that if we really wanted to help people that need it the most, we should be taxing the power elite to subsidize and stabilize the material conditions of said people.

And you're side-stepping the question of why the oppressed should allow themselves to be further oppressed. I'm well aware of the racial demographics of Hawaii and how it got that way.
No, you said specifically only subsidize and stabilize native hawaiiners. After saying that asian immigrants to Hawaii were also colonizers in the same vein as white americans, so already I can tell that you have a bit of bias going on. And no, taxing the "rich" of the big island isnt going to solve the problem, as a whole most of the island is rather poor outside of kona and hilo that make all their money from tourism. The rich elites that you are thinking about are the family that controlled most of the plantations on Oahu, and spread their influence through generations with their absurd amount of money and control.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
No, you said specifically only subsidize and stabilize native hawaiiners. After saying that asian immigrants to Hawaii were also colonizers in the same vein as white americans, so already I can tell that you have a bit of bias going on. And no, taxing the "rich" of the big island isnt going to solve the problem, as a whole most of the island is rather poor outside of kona and hilo that make all their money from tourism. The rich elites that you are thinking about are the family that controlled most of the plantations on Oahu, and spread their influence through generations with their absurd amount of money and control.
You should get your facts straight and go through my post history in this thread before you throw out accusations of a particular "bias" or at least have the guts to say it straight. Either way, richer states in the country have also been subsidizing poorer states for a couple hundred years and the last time I checked, Hawaii isn't a territory of the US, but a state.

Those elite that I'm referring to are the country's elites; not Hawaii's. I thought that was obvious because it wouldn't make sense otherwise.
 
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ibyea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,646
There's an important aspect some posters here are missing.

I think it's presumptuous, arrogant even, to act like the protestors would not be aware of the promised benefits of the TMT, and its promises of Native Hawaiian engagement and better environmental conservation. What most of us here know is cursory information, and even as someone who stands to gain a lot in his line of work from the TMT (as someone studying to be an astrophysicist) it's easy for me to tell that this issue is far more important to Native Hawaiians than a few posters on Resetera. I think we can trust them to do the research better than any of us.

Yes, TMT would be inferior if built anywhere else. That would mean that the telescope didn't reach its full potential. I care about the TMT. I sincerely want it to succeed and become a pioneer of astrophysical observation for decades to come, and that's precisely one of the reasons why I don't want its legacy to be tainted with the knowledge that every single pixel it records was taken without the certain consent of the Native Hawaiian community.

The TMT's promises change nothing about the Native Hawaiian community's right to determine what happens to a mountain central to their culture. (Yes, Native Hawaiians who support the TMT do exist, but my point is that there's no consensus among the Natives in favor of its construction.)

If it were my culture; if it were my mountain, as it were, I would support the TMT, but that doesn't matter either, because the Hawaiian people are the ones with the right to decide.

And this might be presumptuous, but I would not be surprised if after seeing telescopes installed on the mountain without heed to the Native population's worries, desires or interests for decades, the telescopes themselves became a sign of oppression and cultural erasure.

As a consequence, the presence of the TMT would still cause pain, even if it delivered on all of its promises.

Delivering on all of them is basically impossible, by the way. You can't build a telescope directly against the wishes of many the Native local population and then claim you're listening to Native voices. No amount of monetary contribution or 'community engagement' will really remedy the fact that it was (well, would be) installed there with police used to dispel protests and the Coast Guard called in against Hawaii's own people. You're not listening to someone if you're actively silencing or ignoring them.

I can't blame Native Hawaiians for not wanting the TMT on Maunakea--even if it's environmentally friendly, even if the particular place it'll be on isn't technically 'the summit' or is without significant cultural/historical artifacts put at risk or is not visible from most of the Island. People are trying to paint anti-TMT activism as some sort of 'unfair' stance (for lack of a better term) because the benefit the TMT would provide to science is seen as more valuable and significant than whatever cultural impact Native Hawaiians would suffer--- well, I'm pretty sure that disregarding the value of Hawaiian culture (even if you're talking about a location that's 'not technically the summit' or 'not containing cultural artifacts') is what got us to this point.

It does, ultimately, tie into colonialism on Hawaii, and what can I fucking say? It does suck that the TMT not being on Maunakea will mean we'll miss out on tons of data, it's a shame, but astronomy is rather far down the list of things harmed severely by colonialism on Hawaii.
I am an astronomy PhD student and this is my stance as well.

At the end of the day, astronomical observations are less important than the human impact of this project. It's a shame it has come to this, but this is what happens when no amends is done for colonization, when promises are broken again and again without the consent of the native Hawaiians living there. So yeah, I choose justice over science. In this case, justice would be letting the native Hawaiians choose the fate of the telescope.
 

phazedplasma

Member
Oct 27, 2017
866
Maybe killing off 80% of the native populace and illegally annexing their entire country was enough.

Maybe we dont need to build some stupid telescope on their land.
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,565
The consent and integrity of your neighbors and their sacred places aren't things to be sacrificed to some idealized notion of absolute progress. Use your damn heads. Science is for the betterment of humanity, not moving points along a line graph.
 
Mar 3, 2019
37
Edit: Quoted wrong person

Re: Holding a local vote to determine the solution

How would you propose this? A vote, a referendum? All native hawaiinners or just the ones on the big island who would be affected? Would you exclude every other ethnicity, of which is around 80 percent the rest of the population, including those that live in the area as well? If anything, we should be polling people in the area more scientifically, instead of basing all of our opinions based off a few protestors that are very vocal.