About 50 years, ago there was an event that I had hoped would change all people’s perceptions of nationality and impel all people toward cooperation.
A photograph was taken of our home planet, Earth, with the bleak, barren surface of our moon in the foreground showing how connected we all are. There is one place we all live.
There is only one place we can live without incredibly costly support. We need, as humankind, to realize that there is only place in the universe we can exist, and it needs our care. We must work together to protect our home as we recognize that we are all in this together.
What has been done wrong in the past is past. Let us look forward, understanding that we are all occupiers of one, solitary planet which sorely needs our attention. The entire planet is sacred — it is all we have.
Enough is enough
Probably not unlike many others, for years I have been split 50/50 on the Thirty Meter Telescope issue, seeing and empathizing with both sides. But now having arrived at a position, I would like to summarize the bottom-line reflections that ultimately knocked me off the fence-straddling. I don’t at all expect this to budge the mind of any pro-TMT folks, but maybe another fence-sitter?
The Hawaiian people and culture have historically been dominated and mistreated by Western man, powerfully symbolized by their sacred islands and ritual sites being used for aerial bombing practice and military tank training exercises. We have repeatedly turned a deaf ear, dismissed protesters as primitive, and allowed “necessity” and “progress” to march on.
Mother Nature cannot literally speak for herself; she needs native peoples’ voices, chants, dances, songs, stories for her communication with humankind, but we have not heard and listened. We have plugged our ears to indigenous peoples for far too long, whether here in Hawaii, in Alaska, North Dakota, the Brazilian jungles, or elsewhere across the Earth, and “progress” has recurrently prevailed.
For the past 150 years, mankind has mercilessly contaminated and destroyed so much of Mother Nature around our Earth and disregarded the indigenous peoples who have spoken out in her behalf. But we now know that our planet and her peoples are at incredibly serious immediate risk. Science concurs, and the evidence confronts us daily.
These are not “normal” times, and it should no longer be business as usual. I believe the protectors are making the stand they need to, not for Maunakea and the Hawaiian people alone, but for all humanity. It is time to show respect and love for the ‘aina. Let it start here on our Big Island.
Sacred or not?
On my weekly trek to Kona last week, I counted five wrecked, vandalized and abandoned cars, along with a truck that apparently ran off the road over a month ago and is still visible from the highway, laying totally demolished on its side in the brush.
One has to wonder what tourists think when they pass these eyesores along with the trash and dilapidated structures that disfigure the landscape as they drive from Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
With all of the concern about taking care of and protecting the ‘aina, it would seem this only applies, for the moment, to the top of Maunakea while the rest of our island, particularly along the public causeway known as Highway 11, is treated like a boot-scrape.
Can’t we treat all of it as sacred, or is this too complicated and more than we could ever wish for?
Carl F. Goebel