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NSF to do environmental impact statement on TMT

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has suddenly announced that it plans to complete a full environmental impact statement on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

The National Science Foundation plans to host four meetings on the Big Island of Hawaii in August. It said it won’t decide on whether to fund the telescope until after it considers public input, the environmental review, the project’s technical readiness and other factors.

…The National Science Foundation must conduct a new study under U.S. law to invest in the project because it is part of the federal government. A report from the U.S. astronomy community last year said TMT planned to obtain 30% of the project’s estimated construction costs, or $800 million, from the U.S. government.

The timing of this announcement is most interesting, coming more than a year after NSF had decided to partly fund TMT and just shortly after the passage of a new law in Hawaii taking control of telescopes on Mauna Kea away from the University of Hawaii and giving that control to some of the activists protesting TMT. Why is this study suddenly necessary when it hadn’t seem necessary before?

I think this decision is another example of the Biden administration allowing the bureaucrats in the federal government to exercise their power. I also think it is linked with the new bigoted effort in government to always put racial concerns first — in this case tribal Hawaiians. It signals a decision by these federal bureaucrats to team up with those tribal Hawaiians that oppose TMT because it is “white” and “a symbol of colonialism” to kill it.

As I have been predicting for years, TMT will never be built.

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On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • brughtdark

    I wonder if that new board won’t end up in court… The Supremes issued a ruling in Rice v. Cayetano in 2000 that the Hawaiian government can’t create structures that don’t include non-native Hawaiians in them.

    Per Wiki: “Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495 (2000), was a case filed in 1996 by Big Island rancher Harold “Freddy” Rice against the state of Hawaii and argued before the United States Supreme Court. In 2000, the Court ruled that the state could not restrict eligibility to vote in elections for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to persons of Native Hawaiian descent.[1]”

    I have a feeling if this reaches them the native only argument isn’t going to fly.

  • Concerned

    The astronomy community, as in all of academia, is chock full of leftists. I wonder how they’re feeling about this ongoing TMT blockade? Just another example of how leftists, like locusts when they run out of fodder, will eventually eat their own.

  • George Walton

    NSF to do environmental impact statement on TMT
    Robert Zimmerman | July 20, 2022 8:48 am

    What is colonism? ? ? ?

    Next to last paragraph.

  • George Walton: I left out a few letters in typing. That should have been “colonialism.” Thank you. Fixed.

  • sippin_bourbon

    If it moves forward, it will be because the recent change in law allows for contracts to be directed to the “correct” companies, and with kick backs in the form of donations, to the “correct” foundations and groups in Hawaii. In other words, pay offs.

    I think it is quite possible it was always about delaying TMT until they got a hand in to catch some of the money that will pour in with this.

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