Letters to the editor: 11-25-19

Less gaudy but still powerful TMT would be ideal

The people who know me might say that I am betraying Hawaiians and all those who love Maunakea.


I behold the spirit and beauty of this magnificent mountain. I am still held in awe of it after all these years of seeing it nearly every day. Each day I awake to its new profound presence. It never grows old to me. The mountain seems eternal.

I am writing this letter to all those protectors who are sacrificing their time and efforts for the mountain. I just hope that you will not judge me too harshly for what I say here.

There is a greater truth than the mountain. The sky above it is that truth. Yes, I find it difficult to take my eyes from the mountain also. But look above and beyond the mountain. There right before us is the face of God. Unlike some, or even most people, the infinity of the cosmos is, to me, the real and everlasting God that made this Earth and everything upon it.

I am not an advocate for Keck and astronomers. That is not what I stand for or believe in. What I do believe is that we, in our pitifully short existence on this Earth, should, nay, are driven to seek our origin and that of our Earth and our solar system. It is in our nature to seek to know these things. Maunakea is but a piece of a larger puzzle. Yes, it is an important piece. But what is out on the furthest reaches of the universe is really about our own deepest truth. Who we are and what is our place in the firmament. Those questions beg for answers.

This is more than simple curiosity. It is a human imperative to observe and know the universe from which we ultimately evolved and to which we will ultimately return.

I hope that Keck will respect the beauty and sanctity of Maunakea. I beg them to do so. But importantly, I hope they bring all of us closer to our cosmic origins and to truth.

I dearly hope that the physical manifestation of the observatory they hope to place on the mountain does not ruin the beauty and spiritual qualities inherent on the mountain. I know that hope is not a plan nor pragmatic or practical.

Keck, et al, must, should, can find a way not to destroy the view plane toward Maunakea and from Hawaii’s people. I would be in favor of the TMT if it were much less gaudy, tall, and shiny.

TMT needs to be less of a statement of power and more a statement of passion for knowledge of the cosmos. The current design simply is outrageously insulting to the mountain and the people who hold it dear. Find an architect that respects the mountain and Hawaiian people and sees the mountain as a portal into into the infinite.

Do that and perhaps the people who are protecting the mountain will find that it is protected and it no longer needs their protection.


Tom Beach