I've avoided making a post about the TMT telescope on Mauna Kea up until now, because I've felt conflicted.
When I lived on Big Island, one of my dreams was to get an astronomy related computer programming job, perhaps up on the mountain- one of the few non-military, high paying jobs in my field on that island. I've always been somewhat of an amateur astronomy geek. From my perspective, a job up there would have been one of the coolest jobs in the world.
I had no idea telescopes up on a mountain could be so controversial.
Almost all of my Hawaii activist friends whom I deeply respect are against the telescope.
I've felt a similar conflict before- the ferry issue, the rail issue. How do I balance my perception of progress with my desire to be in solidarity with the anti-colonialists?
I guess when it comes down to it, I want to support my Hawaiian friends. Independent of any other facts about the telescope, the tactical choice to protest it has made international headlines and has put the Hawaiian sovereignty movement on the international map. A lost opportunity for some jobs and some science may be a reasonable sacrifice to make at the altar of trying to draw attention to profound historical wrongs, the unresolved nature of which still haunts Hawaii to this day.#hawaii #sovereignty #colonialism #tmt #telescope #astronomy