Letters to the editor: 08-03-19

Both sides can do better

Although I much admire Mr. Lomberg for his artistic talent and his many contributions for the advancement of science as well as our community, I disagree with his conclusion that TMT should not proceed on our island.

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There is no denial some of the views expressed are valid, specifically highlighting the growing pains and the history of astronomy on our island. That said, I am not sure when his children attended school, but presently there has been a great deal of progress toward integrating science and astronomy in our community, for everyone. Many scholarships, funding and programs have benefited young students’ education, including STEM, free lectures, robotics, and internships.

Stopping the project will downgrade astronomy in Hawaii in the decades to come and reduce the benefits it offers us all while likely not resolving the issues behind the protests. It is true the current situation has highlighted our differences and promoted extremist views, creating rifts even within the same families.

Both sides can do better. The majority of us still hope that TMT could represent a rally point to open ourselves to new knowledge and create a path to better understand each other. It could be an opportunity to preserve culture while advancing science moving forward together. Not building TMT will not be the magic bullet to fix our current or past woes and may even divide us further.

Isabelle De Groote

Waikoloa

Columnist uses hyperbole, not facts

In an argument or a debate, it is important to get the facts correct. You need to do your homework before making an argument.

Dennis Gregory said in his “Making Waves” column on Aug. 1 that TMT “sitting up on the mountain it would be a big dark knob four times higher than the observatories around it, that would look like little white mushrooms sprouting beside it.”

According to maunakeaandtmt.org, “TMT is not sited at the top of Maunakea, but on a lava plain below the summit, specifically chosen to minimize its environmental impact. A special reflective aluminum-like coating reflects the sky and reduces the visibility of the structure. It is only visible from 14% of Hawaii Island, or where 15% of the population lives.”

Donna Goodale

Kailua-Kona

Grievances are path to the past

The TMT opposition to me sounds like grievance over a lifetime of perceived marginalization. The same sort of grievance that propels anti-everything.

Over race, environment, colonial heritage, age, development, immigration status, and on and on. I’m ignored. I should be better off. The time to place Maunakea off limits has — for better or worse — long since passed.

Yes, of course. clean it up. Treat Maunakea with respect. Celebrate Maunakea as a national treasure. But stop with the grievances. Grievance is the path to the past.

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David Denecke

Oregon