Hawaii governor extends halt to construction of telescope

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Bowing to extortion: The governor of Hawaii has extended her stop order on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea because of the protests of about 30 people.

I am sorry, but I remain very skeptical about the real motives of most of these protesters. In every previous example, the reasons for the protests always vanished as soon as the protesters got a deal and some cash for their trouble. I suspect this is what is going to happen this time as well.

They aren’t protecting their “sacred site” on Mauna Kea. They are using the sacredness of the site to extort cash and favors from the state and the telescope operation.



  • Cotour

    Are the Hawaiians religious freedoms and beliefs being trampled upon? Are they being forced by the state and the moneyed powers that be to tolerate a giant crown of technology to be built on top of their sacred religious site?

    This will be interesting to see if even more money or favor on another area of concern can “adjust” the religious beliefs of the Hawaiians. And if that does not happen where will this end up, in a dead end for one of the prime research sites on the planet?

    And if their beliefs can be adjusted what will that say about such things and how government deals with it in the future?

  • Edward

    If the site were so sacred or if their religious rights were being trampled upon, the site would have been rejected in the first place. The religion would have won the fight during the site location phase.

    Robert is almost certainly correct. In the real world, it is when the funds start flowing, when workers are sitting around getting paid to do nothing, that extortion tactics work best. Extortionists posing as environmentalists may have invented the tactic about four decades ago.

  • PeterF

    If I had a say in the development, I would cut my losses and lay off all the workers. So sad Governor but that “jobs” program was obviously not as important as political correctness. 1.2 Billion would go a long way to converting the current land based telescope design into a space based instrument. or maybe even a lunar instrument if they can wait?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *