“Recently, TMT has met escalating opposition from some of the Native Hawaiian community, specifically the group Sacred Mauna Kea. They believe that Mauna Kea is of enormous cultural significance to the Hawaiian people, and, for this reason, they oppose building the telescope on the summit.”
Sacred Mauna Kea Hui does not believe that cultural significance is the only reason to oppose the telescope and has made that known on many international and local media venues. There are many reasons that the TMT project should be opposed and culture is just ONE. Others include:
-The current steward of the Mauna Summit is in gross negligent violation of contractual mandates to restore the ecological and environmental integrity of the designated endangered species environment that is the mountain. We feel that until the disparaging negligence of the endangered species environment is improved significantly that all current tenants and lease holders are in violation and that their leases should be evaluated for competence.
-The water aquifer begins at the summit and at least 7 mercury spills have occurred in the past. No matter how much biased assessments and assessors hired by the TMT project quantify the threat to our water aquifer the reality is the threat that mercury will enter the water system is still real and still present. This would cause permanent damage to the system and threaten health and lives as well as the biosphere profoundly. Our lives are not a gamble.
-Although the legal process appears to have been adhered to, it has not. One of many examples include the Department of Land and Natural Resources Conservation District Use Application process that has allowed industrialization of an endangered species environment that is the summit. In this process many legal steps were either circumvented or not adhered to at all and therefore should also be reevaluated and all parties held accountable for any discrepancies between the law and what actually was done to cause the TMT project to seem to be legal.
-The ethnocide of a people is not cultural, its genocide. This point is self-evident and has nothing to do with strictly cultural wants, but with human needs. For example: If it were ideal why would or wouldn’t we build the TMT on Punchbowl and have all the graves removed? Hawaiian iwi and burials deserve equality too and in this instance, on the summit where ancient burials exist, we have a case of clear racism against non-western religious practice and customs. This is a legal matter- that of institutionalized racism and not just cultural and this needs to be addressed and Hawaiians need to be afforded equality and the right to worship and keep sacred what is integral to our cosmogenic beliefs.
-One more point, although there are a plethora that compel the Sacred Mauna Kea Hui to believe that the right thing to do is to halt all construction and decommission all telescopes on the mauna we can sum up in one term: SPIRITUAL ECOLOGY [go ahead Ka Leo, click the link imbedded in the term and enjoy the enlightenment we call science]
There is much to be desired in this unprofessional piece of writing coming out of the UH system who is the main benefactor and owner of the lease to the TMT Project and its profits.
I encourage anyone with time to help point out the many false statements made in this article and implore the author and UH to be more professional.
Source article via Mauna Kea telescope in line with Hawaiian values – Opinion – Ka Leo O Hawaii.