[ExI] Update on the Hawaiian observatory shutdown
hrivera at alumni.virginia.edu
Mon Aug 26 20:26:52 UTC 2019
I currently hold the opinion that the Hawaiian natives don’t have standing for claiming the mountain is theirs. Even if it’s a part of their mythology. I wouldn’t support claiming eminent domain in the name of science to take the land if one of them owned it, but it appears to me it wasn’t “taken” from them in the name of science. It’s a National Park. National Parks are there to preserve and for the public’s interest. I see national and/or global scientific endeavors as consistent with that mission as long as the project is sensitive to the environmental impact and maintains the benefits bestowed by it being a National Park. I believe there is plenty of data collection and science at US National Parks that doesn’t disrupt the ecosystem or the value of those parks. So there is precedent for this type of usage. It’s not like the astronomers are planning to blow up or otherwise destroy or denigrate the mountain or turn it into another Disneyland
> On Aug 26, 2019, at 2:45 PM, John Clark via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 12:30 PM Dave Sill via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> When starlight from billions of years ago zips across the universe and finally comes into focus on Earth, astronomers want their telescopes to be in the best locations possible to see what's out there. Despite years of legal battles and months of protests by Native Hawaiian opponents, the international coalition that wants to build the world's largest telescope in Hawaii insists that the islands' highest peak — Mauna Kea — is the best place for their $1.4 billion instrument.
>> But just barely.
> For some reason you didn't include this part:
> "Mauna Kea stands nearly 14,000 feet (4,300 meters) above sea level, more than twice as high as the Spanish site [...] Depending on the kind of science you want to do, it's going to be a 10% hit to a 50% hit in speed, You are going to have to observe that much longer at La Palma to get the same quality data. [...] Mauna Kea, since it is higher, would have a thinner atmospheric layer and would observe more in certain infrared ranges, The possibility of capturing the image is lower at la Palma."
> And when it comes to super weak infrared light every photon counts because they come from the most distant objects in the universe and they tell us the most about the shape and fate of the cosmos; they are so distant that even ultraviolet light will be redshifted into the infrared due to the expansion of the universe.
> If Mauna Kea was really "just barely" better than La Palma the astronomers wouldn't have suffered fools and delayed the entire project for 4 years to try to get the better site. The Atacama Desert would be just as good but then there would be no large telescope in the northern hemisphere. The second best in the north was La Palma, there were already telescopes there so they knew Mauna Kea was not "just barely" better but significantly better, so significantly that astronomers thought it was worth it to stop the entire project for 4 years on the off chance they could still get the superior place. It worked but it didn't work, yes the law says the astronomers won but the law will never be enforced. La Palma is better than nothing I guess, but it's a poor second.
> And now I have a question that I find completely bewildering. Can somebody explain to me why nearly every member of this list feels they have a moral duty to find excuses for these anti-scientific blockheads?
> John K Clark
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