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The coming dark age: As I expected the Hawaiian Supreme Court today ruled that the construction permit given to the builders of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is invalid, putting all construction on Mauna Kea on hold indefinitely.
It is very clear that the very liberal government of Hawaii is on the side of the protesters and is doing what it can to stop construction. Will the builders of TMT recognize this and try to find a new site for the telescope, or will they continue the legal battle to build it in Hawaii? I think they stand no chance of winning in Hawaii, but they might not have any other choice.
I also ask: What about the decisions to decommission other telescopes to make room for TMT? Do those telescopes still get removed, even if TMT isn’t built?
All in all, this decision probably puts an end to new cutting-edge science in Hawaii. Like the Catholic Church’s attack on Galileo (which essentially killed the Renaissance in Italy), astronomers, and in fact all scientists, will likely go elsewhere now to find a friendly haven for the search for knowledge.