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Earth Space Science

Hawaii Approves Telescope On Volcano Sacred To Indigenous People ( 251

A new $1.4 billion telescope will be built atop a Hawaiian volcano indigenous people consider sacred. The team of scientists fighting for the telescope won approval from Hawaiian officials on Thursday after selecting the site and applying to build there in 2009. Reuters reports: The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources voted 5-2 to allow construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island, state officials said in a statement. Astronomers consider the summit one of the world's best places to view the cosmos, while Native Hawaiians say the project would disturb holy ground crucial to their connection with ancestors and the heavens. A consortium of scientists initially received construction permits from state officials in 2011. In 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court voided that decision, saying officials did not follow the proper procedures for a "contested case hearing." That forced the state board to re-evaluate the proposal with more input from opponents. The project calls for building one of the world's largest telescopes atop the dormant volcano.
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Hawaii Approves Telescope On Volcano Sacred To Indigenous People

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  • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @06:09AM (#55282571)

    But at large cost as is often the case.

    We will see the usual troublemakers rush back in to try and stir up more protests now.
    The same ones who have been missing throughout this actual process, because creating public strife and being the center of attention is what the seek, rather than any actual improvement to peoples lives.

  • Lemme guess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @06:25AM (#55282613)

    They sent some shaman (or whatever the druggy is called in their religion) to converse with the ancients and they said a gift of a few million bucks could appease them...

  • by supernova87a ( 532540 ) < minus language> on Saturday September 30, 2017 @08:16AM (#55282903)
    I always find it interesting that when the (few) native Hawaiians and their opportunistic supporters go up the mountain, they always seem to do it using the roads that the telescope facilities built and manage/maintain. I guess that part of the desecration is just a nice time saver.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! ( 33014 )

      This is an asinine argument.

      Suppose I built a house on a plot of land you owned and you decided to knock it down, which would be within your rights. You'd think I was an idiot if I said, "Well, OK, but don't park your bulldozers in *my* driveway."

  • i would suggest having a few Jesuit "brothers" on staff just in case things get a bit err Hot.

  • by chromaexcursion ( 2047080 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @11:03AM (#55283475)
    The author of this piece has an agenda, lying by omission. There are several large telescopes on Mauna Kea. The "sacred ground" is already highly developed. The new telescope will be built on the site of one of the existing telescopes, which will be remove.
    The original plan was to build on a new site. The compromise is to build on an existing site.
    The summit of Mauna Kea isn't sacred like a burial ground. The native Hawaiians never went there. It's sacred like Mount Olympus was sacred to the ancient Greeks (they never went there either).
  • â you islanders can kick rocks.â

    If it ainâ(TM)t jerbus, officials donâ(TM)t care.

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      â you islanders can kick rocks.â

      Sheesh. The line noise is really bad on your 1970 110 baud acoustic modem!

  • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @12:42PM (#55283911)
    Win for astronomy, except the Governor made UH promise to close down 25% of their existing sites on the mountain. Because reasons.

    And much more importantly, a big win for the rule of law. Public land is public land, and religious considerations can't be allowed to dictate use of public land.
  • by surfcow ( 169572 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @01:36PM (#55284149) Homepage

    I live in Honolulu, visit Puna on the Big Island pretty often.
    Please do not paint native Hawaiians as anti-science, they are not.
    The protesters are loud, but they represent a fairly small percentage of the population.
    Protests are just part of the process of building new structures here.
    Things still get built, believe me. They just take longer.

    Ob astronomy reference 1 - the ancient polynesians were master navigators who relied on the stars to cross a huge seas in tiny craft without a compass or a map. They were the geeks of their day.

    Ob astronomy reference 2 - Many heavenly bodies discovered in Hawaii have been given Hawaiian / polynesian names. The new scope will doubtless add more.

  • your witchcraft.

  • Grow the fuck up. This is real life. Not fairy tales.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.