Hawaii is Not the A’ole State
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmer's Daughter, April 9, 2015
I really never thought that the TMT on Mauna Kea issue would come to my community, but alas it did. I came upon a busy intersection full of protesters against the telescope. There were people of all ages there from old folks to babies.
It makes me sad to see these protests. These people held signs with A’ole TMT written on it. A’ole is the Hawaiian word for “no.” The prior two years we had protests of A’ole GMO and now it’s moved onto the TMT. Some signs stated that the telescope was a desecration to the aina (land). This issue is eerily similar to the GMO one when they claimed that there was a need to malama (care) for the aina from biotech crops.
These protesters claim that this telescope is desecrating sacred land over and over. Meanwhile, a new Whole Foods is being built upon burial grounds as well as Target Kailua. I’d consider that land to be sacred but there were no protests against that. Shouldn’t people be standing in front of those grounds blocking it to stop others from supporting this desecration too?
I’ve also seen videos of people 4 wheel driving up Mauna Kea and snowboarding down the slopes. If the mountain is so sacred, who is protecting her from this kind of ravaging of the land? I don’t see anyone blocking these kids from doing that up there. Just visit YouTube and see how many people have done this up there.
I really suspect that too many people have not done their due diligence to research the facts about TMT at all. Hawaii Business Magazine did a great overview on why our state moved forward with this project. It’s about opportunities for our people. It’s about providing education also and diversifying an island that doesn’t have much of an economy. It’s about bringing science and technology to a part of our state that can make it a world renown place to make new discoveries.
While many of the protesters have extra time and money to protest, they aren’t seeing that they are depriving others from opportunities. Kaneohe isn’t suffering from limited jobs and a depressed economy but some people here are willing to deny others of that. Oahu isn’t anything like the Big Island and yet we city folk want to dictate to these folks what they should be doing.
Hawaii has opportunity to be a center of high technology that will indeed making it a center of knowledge to the world. Knowledge itself brings a profound reverence in itself. I feel that we shouldn’t be protesting something that can give us more information, but we should embrace the desire for knowledge.
Hawaii isn’t known as the A’ole state. We should remember that we are the Aloha State!
Something to think about….
The Search for Knowledge on Mauna Kea is a Sacred One
Opposition to the TMT is Based in New Age Anti-Science Activism
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The Star Advertiser loves to give attention to protesters.
What Are You Giving Back?
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmer's Daughter, April 10, 2015
It really bothers me that Hollywood stars have convened upon our state when it comes to supposed hot topic issues. We’ve had Darryl Hannah, Roseanne Barr, Kelly Slater, Bette Midler, and Ben Stiller getting involved with the GMO protests. Now Jason Momoa is involving himself in the TMT protests also.
If you’re going to block something, I hope that there is a tangible alternative that could be offered. It’s one thing to be against something but hopefully have something to give. When Hannah, Barr, Stiller, and Midler got involved with the anti-GMO issue, did we see something come out of it? Did we get more local foods grown? Has more farmers farmed? Have they made farm land cheaper? Did they create economic alternatives to those who would be displaced by getting seed farms shut down? None of these alternatives were ever thought of and backed by a real action plan.
It’s fine that Jason Momoa can protest the telescope but will he provide a plan to help the community that stands to benefit from it? How will he help stimulate Hilo’s economy long after the protesters leave? Will he provide educational funding that was agreed upon with the building of the TMT? What high tech opportunities will be replaced in that area? What construction jobs will be provided if it isn’t built? Has he promised to provide financial support to educating the Hawaiians long after the protests are done?
Just like the biotech issue, it seems that people are so willing to block everything and use a lot of false information to base their assertions upon. Yes, we need to malama the Aina and that means everywhere. Who is cleaning up the junk cars left in the rural areas of our island? Who is cleaning out the water ways that run into the ocean like the Ala Wai canal? Who is cleaning up the trash piles left by the homeless in our communities? Who is refusing to drive their car to keep the air clean? How is each and every person restoring the sacredness back to our whole island?
It’s one thing to protest, but we’ve got to stop and ask ourselves, what have we given back? How are we contributing to the big picture of helping our communities, the aina, and the people? Focusing just on one issue doesn’t serve us well. Let’s expand that attention and energy everywhere to Hawaii to have an even bigger impact for everyone.