A forced project into a context doomed for failure

For years now our Hawai’i community has struggled with the dilemma of TMT. While all sectors of our islands have felt the strain of this conflict, others from afar have sat back knowing all along that their choices would bring conflict and huge challenges for Hawai‘i.

Twelve years ago a major TMT funder, the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation, contracted The Keystone Center (TKC) to seek their advice. The foundation asked TKC’s Peter Adler and Janesse Brewer to assess what would happen if TMT attempted to build its mega project on Maunakea.

Adler and Brewer interviewed 60 stakeholders reflecting a range of views on TMT. Their 2007 report warned that TMT would face major obstacles and trigger deep conflicts.

To lessen these difficulties, TKC offered numerous recommendations to the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation, including that the TMT should “undertake both broad and deep consultation with Native Hawaiians” and “avoid fancy public relations splashes and glossy media campaigns.”

But TMT plowed ahead, ignoring such advice and the reality check TKC forecasted about the challenge-ridden context TMT would face.

Now, even as the stakes for our community are nearing a tipping point, TMT board members refuse to engage in conversations here in Hawai’i. They continue to turn a deaf ear to our voices today, just as they refused to listen to The Keystone Center’s warnings a dozen years ago.

It’s time for TMT to take responsibility for its own irresponsible choices.