After months of delay the construction of TMT will not be able to start in 2019. With the start of construction on hold for an indefinite period. Some take this as a win for the protest, striking a blow against inequality, homelessness, underemployment and overincarceration of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) by stopping a telescope. Others who know that at the altitude of that telescope, where it is snowing and inclement, that building a modern building is ten times more difficult.
It seems to me that at telescope altitude the climate approximates that of Chicago. If not much colder and with low oxygen. Here in Illinois we have a saying… there are only two seasons wintertime and construction time. It seems to me this is nothing more than the ending of construction time. Especially if that construction involves pouring some concrete. In cold weather areas like northern Illinois often construction just shuts down in winter.
The TMT collaboration has issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to build in Hawaii. It is unclear precisely when they will start construction. They have sought permits for the Canary Islands so they are prepared to move if they must.
UPDATE: the roadblock is being moved to the side of the road in what Hawaii County mayor Harry Kim plans to be a collaborative effort with the protesters.
Pu'uhonua o pu'u huluhulu , self-styled “protectors of the Mauna” are committed to stopping construction. Though their exact plans for a December 26th when they say they were told to move, or face arrest are unclear. They may simply move their tents to the side of the road instead of on the road.
This struggle goes on. There has got to be a way to address the very real ground truth problems of the Kanaka Maoli. Solutions that do not involve them going down in historical infamy like those who burned the Library of Alexandria. A group that has so much to teach deserves better.
SACNAS and IMUA TMT
The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science*, has wrongly chosen to put its support behind the Ku Kiai Mauna and treating them as if they are elected representatives of all Kanaka Maoli. Their letter uncritically cites Ku Kiai Mauna talking points, including utterly debunked claims about how TMT would function. I could write about this but instead here is an embed of a panel discussion by IMUA TMT where those local to Hawaii answer this letter and explain their point of view.
For what it is worth I think this is the only reasonable compromise. The protesters have a right to protest. The TMT collaboration have won in court the legal right to proceed. The protesters should now keep a close eye on what TMT does and if they step out of line exercise their legal right to sue. That is how things happen in a country with just laws and fair courts. (Not perfect but just and largely fair).