Interesting TMT Comment By Big Island Farmer Richard Ha

I have the upmost respect for Big Island Farmer Richard Ha.  His farm has provided Big Island and Hawaii residents food for generations.

Recently he made a comment on Punaweb that tells me that he may be sitting on the fence about the whole TMT project.

…The People on the Kanaka council were very eloquent.  They made clear that if the total benefit to the community was the discover of stars etc. then it could just as easily be seen from Chile.  And they would be happy if the TMT just Went to Chile…

They were emphatic in their feeling that the benefits of the TMT must extend to future generations or it would be irrelevant. They said that they could not live with themselves if this was not the case.  I just sat their listening to them.

I realized that what they were saying is exactly what I believed in. If the benefits do not extend to future generations then it does not need to be located on Mauna Kea…

While I’m only highlighting what was said in this thread on Punaweb…(As he is in support of the TMT project… I just wanted to highlight this comment)

It does tell me that even some of the strongest supporters of the TMT project do have some reservations about it.

I’m still really up in the air about this project.  I do see some short term economic development with the project… but the long  term effects of it could be more damaging for the the island then positive.

This island is deprived of a lot of things…  I know that change is happening so I don’t want people to think I’m stuck in the old ways… and I certainly don’t want people to think I’m Hawaiian because of my beliefs personally as I’m not Hawaiian and I do see the cultural indifference’s first hand.

I commissioned an unofficial poll and I see that the majority of my readers are in favor of the TMT project… 83% to 13% so obviously I’m not seeing everything that the readers of my blog are.

I wish some of the readers would make comments here so I could understand why they are for or against the project.

4 Responses

  1. Damon, who can argue with a feeling. Hell, I get a queasy feeling looking at all the big hotels on the Kohala coast in their little landscaped pockets. But I’m not going to argue that they are bad for the island because of my feeling.

    I work for a telescope so obviously I am biased, but I think they are beautiful. You go up there, and drive round the switchback and catch the first view – they look like a pearl lei. And while I am not Hawaiian and don’t pretend to understand all their legends, I know in the last 25 years the island has been rocked by really bad earthquakes (not to mention the eruption of Mauna Loa) and my telescope has never been damaged. Makes me feel Madames Pele and Poliahu don’t mind as much as people think, eh?

  2. Damon, what long-term negative effects do you worry about? Let me put it this way, since the telescopes have been on Mauna Kea for 30+ years, what negative effects do you see today from their presence?

    I am curious.

    Damon – Every time I drive into town and see those concrete structures on top of Mauna Kea I get a queasy feeling. I’m not even Hawaiian, but there is some powerful vibes coming from that Mountain. I’ll give you this Wikipedia Entry:
    Construction of telescopes on Mauna Kea has been a source of controversy in recent years. Due to the qualities listed above, it is a highly favored location and the summit area is now home to over a dozen telescopes. Native Hawaiian groups have protested that construction of additional telescopes would cause considerable environmental damage and further desecrate a site that they consider sacred. They consider that the summit of Mauna Kea is the home of the snow goddess, Poliahu. In addition, the summit area is home to a unique insect, the wēkiu bug, which feeds on insects blown to the summit by updrafts. Studies on the impact of telescopes on wēkiu bug populations have been inconclusive, with accusations of over-collecting and bias among the different parties. Some mercury spills and sewage dumps have also been reported at the existing telescopes; these are of particular concern because of the unique and otherwise-pristine underground water systems in the area.

  3. Aloha Damon:
    First of all, I am very much in favor of the TMT. But, first and foremost we need to make sure that the process is followed, so that trust can be established again. We all know that the world has changed. We cannot depend on ships to take care of us. We need to utilize our resources and opportunites in a smart way–for the benefit of future generations. It is Hawaiian tradition to plan ahead for the long term—generations from now. The thing we can do for future generations is to do all we can to make sure our keiki are educated. We need to give them the tools for them to cope with the world they find. It is not about us. It is about future generations. We need to come together and find solutions. What will future generations think of us many years from now? Now is the time to step up and find solutions!!

    Damon – Thank you for commenting… I’ll get back to this later today… I’m kind of busy today.

    Damon – Long day…It is Hawaiian Tradition to plan ahead for the long term, as you said…
    The thing is… is that the Hawaiians were using Mauna Kea and planning to use it long before ANY TELESCOPES came into place. They cried tears of bloody murder wondering why something they had held onto for so long and looked forward to using in the future. Now, it’s still being taken from them.

  4. I personally think you are reading too much into his comments. He is still a staunch supporter of this project- as long as it benefits this island. Which I strongly agree. It will benefit this island over the long term.

    Damon – I maybe… but I don’t have a say on things, so I would like to know all sides of the things.
    It is comforting knowing that even the staunchest of supporters… do have a bit of reservations

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