I am a supporter of the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope because, quite apart from the science, I believe that, without it, this state will suffer a serious blow to its prestige.

Mauna Kea is the finest location for astronomy in the United States, if not the whole world; it is the ideal location for the Thirty Meter Telescope. Nowhere else in the Northern Hemisphere has such an unobstructed, clear view of the heavens; this is the simple reason the TMT needs to be built on Mauna Kea.

Many Native Hawaiians are cynical about the TMT. They are dubious about its benefits to them. On the Big Island activists have done a good job of making the TMT a sovereignty issue, and who can blame them?

Artist's rendering of the Thirty Meter Telescope with all vents open. The vents are designed to optimize air flow over the primary mirror so as to reduce mirror seeing effects.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope.

Thirty Meter Telescope

It is easy to point a finger and say, “If you don’t like your reputation, do something about it.”

I hear this refrain often, but from my experience, Native Hawaiian cynicism is justified. Their opting out of others’ expectations comes naturally.

Hawaiians have a rich history and real roots here; that is a gift for all mankind, in a world with so many rootless people.

Unfortunately though, Native Hawaiian thought has been shaped by two centuries of tragedy brought here by outsiders.

With this as a backdrop, the Hawaiians demand to be taken seriously. People say that they have too many privileges. I don’t agree but neither do I think that the future should be held hostage to the past.

For those who hate the U.S. and see the TMT as a symbol of imperialism, it may be easy to object; but the vast majority of the people in this state, including Hawaiians, have no reason to object.
The benefits of maintaining the state’s reputation are real and the TMT has the power to symbolize the forward thinking stance of Hawaii worldwide.

We all need to tell our elected representatives and all involved in the permitting process that location of the TMT here is essential.

The TMT is a beacon for the future prosperity and prestige of this state. Do we just want to be known as a vacation destination or a military base?

With today’s focus on STEM teaching for our keiki, the benefits of the TMT make approval of its permits a no-brainer. If we want something to point our children toward, which symbolizes our aspirations for them, it is the TMT.

Time is short, but there is still time to support the TMT. While I have sympathy for the protesters, they have confused the issue, for themselves and others. It is time for that confusion to end.

The TMT is the future of Hawaii. It is a sacred trust for our children.

Please add your voice and let your opinion be heard. With the permitting process on its last lap, now is the time to speak up.

Politicians naturally listen to the loudest voice. The supporters of the TMT need to raise the volume.

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