Hawaiians could choose to be proud of the TMT

Fifty years ago, Americans planted their flag on the moon. Does the moon belong to them?

Five thousand years ago, ancient Egyptians first studied astronomy. Does astronomy belong to them?

Sixteen hundred years ago, ancient Polynesians first climbed Mauna Kea.

Ten years ago, some Hawaiians, not all, but a select group planted their flag. They claim only they have the right to “allow” access. Does the unjust overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom give these folks rights the rest of us, including Hawaiians who support the TMT but cannot speak for fear of retribution, do not have?

Sacred: Arlington Cemetery. From a military family. Served myself 1962-66. How would I feel if someone planted a huge instrument in the middle? If it was for an admirable project like the TMT, intended to benefit all humankind, I’d be OK with it.

Sacred: Mauna Kea. The great eye will peer 13 billion years back in time. Will we see what God was doing at the moment of creation?

Sacred: Knowledge. Ancient Polynesians used sacred wayfinding knowledge, including a profound understanding of marine life, ocean and air currents, the applied physics of sailing, seamanship and, yes, astronomy to accomplish the most amazing migrations in human history, upwind and into the unknown.

Couldn’t Hawaiians be proud of the TMT as the culmination of their ancient knowledge? They could if they chose to. That would be pono.

Richard “Oli” Olson