TMT Support and Opposition by the Numbers

Hawaiian TMT opponents are quick to claim the mantle of representing the Hawaiian people, making the implied claim that all Hawaiians oppose construction of the TMT. It is theme I have seen repeated over and over, repeated by the leaders of the movement.

TMT Rendering
An overhead view of the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, credit TMT Observatory Corporation
I have had reason to question that theme, it just does not make sense, it does not agree with what I encounter in the community. The problem has been that real numbers have been unavailable to settle the issue. It has mystified me that no one had done a proper poll of the local population until now. There have been numerous online polls, petitions and other useless counts of support or opposition. We now have such a poll, and the numbers do not look good for telescope opponents.

62% of Hawaii residents support construction of the TMT, while 29% oppose construction. If one considers only the island of Hawaii the numbers are 59% in support and 39% in opposition. Notably a strong 88% of residents think that culture and science can share Mauna Kea. The statistics of the sample size and sampling method determine a ±4% error possible in the results.

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