One thing that the current COVID-19 crisis has shown Hawaii is that the economy cannot survive with only tourism as the main private industry. People have been saying for decades that Hawaii needs more economic diversification. Agriculture, technology, science and astronomy are some of the areas where Hawaii could do good in an expanded economy.
Astronomy is ready for the next big step. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is the major tool that is still supported by the astronomy, science and tech industry that will continue to put Hawaii at the forefront to future discovery. TMT as most know have been delayed for many years despite going through all the legal hurdles to get it approved and built. Now is the time to start building the TMT.
Attached is the most recent email / press release I got from TMT regarding a recent poll taken by the Honolulu StarAdvertiser.
- 92 percent of Hawaii residents agree there should be a way for science and Hawaiian culture both to exist on Maunakea
- 83 percent of Hawaii residents agree that the protest on Maunakea is really about issues larger than TMT, such as Hawaiian homelands, overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, and land management
- 80 percent of Hawaii residents agree that peaceful protests are fine but have no tolerance for protests that result in laws being broken
- 79 percent of Hawaii residents agree that the government is responsible for providing safe construction access to the TMT site
- 76 percent agree that TMT will help create good paying jobs and economic and educational benefits for those living on Hawaii Island
- 65 percent of Hawaii residents agree that failure to move forward with TMT will lead to the departure of Hawaii’s $167-million astronomy industry