Re: Direct action
Wow some incredible ignorance there!
There are two significant areas of concern here over the building of the TMT. First and foremost there is a deep misunderstanding about the sacredness of the mountain. The summit (and others) are Wao Akua or basically the realm of the gods. It is not a case of only the area around an ahu (shrine) is sacred, but the entire peak is viewed and the literal home of the gods (Poliahu, Lilinoe, Waiau, & Kahoupokane). It is their mount olympus, viewed as an overlap with the heavens, a direct portal.
You can mock, you can point to the low numbers of 'believers' but how many followers does a religion need to have protection? Go try built the telescope on temple mount and see what reaction you get. Na Kanaka Maoli have followed kapu aloha, they have protested peacefully and have used every legal avenue open to them (and no illegal ones).
The issue they have come up against is the second point. Money, corruption and being held to account. An agreement was made after an extensive review process to limit the number of telescopes to 13 and keep them within a specific area. When #14 was proposed and people objected it was decided that Keck 1 and 2 were actually really just one after a few brown envelopes changed hands. Now they want to build number 15 and if you read the 2000+ pages of EIS (environmental impact study) and planning documents their sole justification for breaking their agreement on the limit is 'we have already done so much damage this won't be noticed'. Development was supposed to be limited, yet any agreement made is ignored as soon as it is inconvenient. How is that legal? You expect people not to protest that?
This is not an issue for 'a few natives' this has support from haoles and maoli alike. By far the biggest income to the economy is tourism, those tourists come for the beauty. Yet repeatedly that beauty is degraded as the expense of irresponsible development that is permitted only due to lobbying. The current governor has had his nominations for offices repeatedly refused due to them being lobbyists.
The argument is not against science nor astronomy, but about the cost. There are other locations for the TMT. It could be built with the VLT in Chile. This is just another case of bribery to cut some corners. If it went to Chile the bribes would go with it. There are inoperable telescopes up there which the operators refuse to remove. TMT is several times larger than any of the current observatories and would have a significant impact.