Hawai’i public radio joins campaign against spaceport


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According to an article today by Hawaii’s local NPR station, it would be a bad idea to build a new spaceport there, based on the experience of Alaska residents near their own similar spaceport.

This article could be the poster child for fake news. It very biased, indicating that this local NPR station has decided to join the campaign to block construction of the spaceport on the state’s Big Island. For example, despite a title (“Alaska Residents Urge Caution to Hawaiʻi Officials Considering Spaceport”) that implies strong opposition in Alaska to their spaceport, there is no evidence in the article to support that implication. The article only inteviews two Alaska residents, both of whom admit to being strong opponents of their own spaceport, from the beginning. This is hardly a fair sampling of local opinion, and certainly does not give us a good picture of the impact the spaceport has had in Alaska.

This article’s bias is further compounded in that it only quotes one Hawaiian, a state senator who strongly opposes the proposed Hawaiian spaceport.

While there might be strong opposition to both the Alaskan and Hawaiian spaceports, this article is not very convincing. If anything, it makes me skeptical, and suspicious that the entire opposition is a ginned up political campaign, of which this NPR station is now willingly participating.

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5 comments

  • Steve H.

    NPR is biased?? If they announce on air what time it is, I check my own watch to verify. They are the epitome of fake news.

  • Col Beausabre

    What I don’t understand is what is the danger or damage that a spaceport would cause. Could someone please address that? Or is it just a case of luddites gone wild.

  • Tom Billings

    “What I don’t understand is what is the danger or damage that a spaceport would cause. Could someone please address that? Or is it just a case of luddites gone wild.”

    I strongly suspect that we have two dissimilar cases here, in which one is straining to borrow support from the other, though both are linked to an anti-industrial worldview.

    In Hawaii, a long-term push for gaining political power by those not included in the One-Party State government of Hawaii has been using the pre-industrial culture of Hawaiian natives as a standard around which they can rally. This has led them to tout religious feeling as a reason to not build the Thirty Meter telescope on Mauna Kea. Finding that politically profitable, they have moved on to use those observatories’ association with NASA, and NASA’s with spaceflight, to begin opposing any spaceflight activity in Hawaii. They now have a political ally within the local Hawaiian NPR organization after their successes with the Thirty Meter Telescope, who searching for other opponents to spaceflight, found Alaska was their closest exemplar to write about.

    Scattered about Alaska you have a number of people who wanted to get away from industrial society and its noise and other characteristics. They are occasionally prominent, but nowhere near a majority in Alaska. They usually leave towns and find places isolated from the characteristics of urban life, but close enough to Alaska’s infrastructure that they are not dead the first time they make a mistake about the harsh Alaskan environment.

    This just happens to put them in the same sort of places that are good for launching rockets on the South Coast of mainland Alaska. This is the sort of people that would be appalled to find a noisy (even if only very occasionally so far) and highly industrial seeming rocket base put up on “their” stretch of Alaskan shoreline. They want a monopoly there, through distance, and were willing to tell the Hawaiian NPR writers whatever they wanted to hear.

  • There are fishing issues along the coast which I am willing to concede might be an issue. A rocket launch shuts those areas down for considerable time.

    Nonetheless, I suspect they are strawman in Hawaii, and are not really a serious issue.

  • Col Beausabre

    Tom Billings, so the protesters intend to out identity politic, the party of identity / grievance politics….interesting….who are these outsiders, are they part of a minority group with grievances or are they just a collection of losers in internal party battles who think they have found a horse to ride?

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