Question: Are the Mauna Kea Protectors against science?
Answer: No. They are against destruction and desecration of a fragile, sacred place. Many come from scientific backgrounds, and have great respect for the quest for knowledge. They simply believe that science needs to find ways of seeking knowledge that do not destroy the Earth, or cultural practices and resources.
Question: Is this just a "Hawaiian" thing? Does stopping the TMT only benefit Hawaiians, at the expense of everyone else?
Answer: Mauna Kea is very sacred in Hawaiian tradition. Hawaiians have been caring for the mountain, and conducting ceremonies and burials there, for thousands of years. In addition, Mauna Kea is sacred to people from all around the world. Protection of sacred places is something that is a part of all human cultures. And because these sacred places are often very special in terms of natural resources, their protection really does benefit everyone.
Question: Doesn't the TMT have the right to build, if it has a permit from the State?
Answer: No. The TMT was granted a Conservation District Usage Permit by the BLNR improperly, as it cannot meet the eight criteria required (with no exceptions allowed by law) to build in a Conservation District.
Questions and Answers
Question: Did Kalākaua support the building of telescopes on Mauna Kea?
Answer: No. This is unfortunately an outright fabrication. Mauna Kea has always been a Wahi Kapu -- a sacred place revered and protected by all of the aliʻi. Kalākaua did permit a small telescope (with a structure about the size of a large toolshed) to be built in his backyard in Honolulu. This was specifically to allow the observation of the Transit of Venus in 1874, which the King slept through.