Locals are angry at a proposal to build a massive telescope on a sacred mountain, and they are pushing back against officials.
A battle is raging in Hawaii, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon. Officials want to build a massive $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope on the top of a mountain in Hawaii, and the locals are furious that such a sacred place to them will be the home of a huge construction project if they can’t stop it.
The project got a big win this past week when it won state approval to be built on the dormant volcano, but protesters are undeterred, and the battle is far from over. They’ve been camped 14,000 feet up in frigid conditions, willing to be arrested and doing everything they can to block the construction.
“For the Hawaiian people, I have a message: This is our time to rise as a people,” said Kahookahi Kanuha, a protest leader, according to an Associated Press report. “This is our time to take back all of the things that we know are ours. All the things that were illegally taken from us.”
It’s a prime spot for a telescope because it’s above the clouds and provides clear view of the sky without light pollution. The telescope could lead to huge breakthroughs, peering deep into space and unraveling the secrets of our universe. But for native Hawaiians, it’s an affront to their culture.
States the Thirty Meter Telescope website: “Near the center of Pasadena, California, and at various locations around the world, a team of scientists, engineers, and project specialists is busily planning and designing what eventually will become the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth. When completed, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will enable astronomers to study objects in our own solar system and stars throughout our Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies, and forming galaxies at the very edge of the observable Universe, near the beginning of time.”