Video by David Corrigan, Voice of Sherry Bracken
MAUNA KEA – At a recent Common Ground talk story in Pepeekeo on May 27th, TMT board member Michael Bolte admitted underestimating the resistance to the Thirty Meter Telescope project, and talked about the initial meetings that took place in the community.
A document prepared by the The Keystone Center for The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation back in 2007 predicted the project would face significant opposition. Peter Adler worked on the report, and was also at the Pepeekeo talk story on May 27th.
The report, which relied on a diverse set of interviews, warned that astronomy development on Mauna Kea has a “Sour History and comes with Heavy Baggage”
“Should TMT decide to pursue a Mauna Kea site, it will inherit the anger, fear, and great mistrust generated through previous telescope planning and siting failures and an accumulated disbelief that any additional projects, especially a physically imposing one like the TMT, can be done properly.” (Keystone Center report)
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation decided to back the project nonetheless… and by the time the first EIS scoping meeting took place in 2008, a large opposition had already formed. TMT completed a lengthy approval process and the state granted permission to begin construction. Opponents are appealing in court.