A Conversation on Mauna Kea

A night on the summit and a stay at Hale Pōhaku offers an opportunity to explore the mountain. The plan had been to take a short hike in the Hale Pōhaku area to visit some interesting geologic features before heading down the mountain. A cold misting rain made that idea much less attractive. Instead I paid a visit to my friends at the Visitor Information Station and along the way visited the protest camp across the street. The experience of the day was a conversation I had with the occupants of the camp, a conversation both interesting and odd, I spent the entire drive back down the mountain and much of the day mulling over what I had seen and heard in that conversation.

Protest Encampment
The protest encampment across the street from Hale Pōhaku
I will avoid the use of names here, I am not sure is the owners would appreciate my using them and they really add nothing to this description. Thus I will follow Galileo and use names that reflect the individual views. It is these views that were intriguing, for this day I met several people with entirely different motivations that make a very interesting contrast. It was fascinating to me that in the span of one conversation I would meet people who so typified the various groups that have become involved in the controversy.

The first to greet me as I came across the street was a gentleman I will call Mr. Sovereignty for his position on the matter. The argument atop Mauna Kea has become embroiled in a range of issues that have simmered in the islands for a long time. Among those who are against the construction of TMT are some who are simply against any further telescopes on Mauna Kea and also those who see the issue as wrapped up in questions on the legal status of the State of Hawaii. The main thrust of a common argument is that the Kingdom of Hawaii was illegally overthrown. Their goal is nothing less than the restoration of the kingdom as a sovereign entity.

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