This is what the Cabildo, the Government of the Canary Islands and that of Spain continue to express, as the Minister of Science, Pedro Duque, ratified a few days ago in the Archipelago.
Project promoters always shuffled Hawaii as their first choice, after studying various areas of the Earth.
In Mauna Kea, a volcano considered a sacred place by the natives, they found characteristics such as a climate “particularly stable, dry and cold; all of them important to capture the sharpest images and do better science,” the consortium that promotes TMT construction.
However, the protests that have shaken the area, and his second option was always La Palma.
The Cabildo recently acknowledged to this media that there are still some administrative procedures to be able to house it.
The newly appointed president of the island corporation, Mariano H. Zapata, clarifies that before September it will be completed so that the TMT has the license in hand.
A procedure that was carried out without a previous environmental impact report and that has been demanded by the courts after a process promoted by Ben Magec- Ecologistas en Acción.
It is estimated that once this lock is resolved, everything is ready for installation.
Pablo Batista, spokesman for this group on the island explains that the telescope, at least, must be implemented in compliance with the law.
This same Tuesday, Gary Sanders, TMT project manager, said in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald newspaper , that the reconfiguration of the megatelescope would only be delayed a few months if it could not finally be located in that North American state, whose construction was actually planned for 2014.
This initiative was never seen with good eyes by the natives of Hawaii, so a judicial process was opened in the US. In 2015, the project was paralyzed.
Only a year later, the promoters assured that the conditions of La Palma were “excellent” to carry out the scientific core of the TMT and in October 2016 they designated the island as a second option.
The international observatory TMT (TIO) then signed an agreement with the Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands (IAC) for which for 75 years they would have “the right to build and operate, land use, access to infrastructure and common services, and the headquarters facilities in La Palma and Tenerife.”
However, in 2017, the telescope was again moving away from La Palma after a judge recommended issuing a permit to enable it.
Mauna Kea is considered a sacred place by the natives. It is an inactive volcano over 4,000 meters high. The activist of the area Kealoha Pisciotta is one of the people who leads the cause and considers the volcano a haven of peace and spiritual connection.
In his lectures he insists that science is not always for the benefit of all, especially, especially when it is intended to build “on the bones of its culture and on sacred spaces”.
The protests, for which Hawaii came to declare a state of emergency, have been joined by renowned actors and artists such as Bruno Mars, Leonardo Dicaprio or Jason Momoa.
The latter has even written “TMT + Canary Islands = Discovery” on his body, to support its construction on La Palma and not in the state in which he was born. An image that has gone around the world.
However, other telescopes are already installed in Mauna Kea, whose construction also generated protests.
The TMT consortium defends that it has taken into account the cultural values of the area and insists that precisely this place was chosen for “its absence of archaeological, cultural or biological impact” and maintains that the planned location “has no hermitages or archaeological characteristics, neither plants nor insects in danger of extinction, nor burials”.
Waiting to become the first option to house the TMT, the archipelago already has the Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands (IAC), one of the most important astronomical centers in Spain and has never hidden its commitment to have this large telescope installed in La Palma.
The large telescope would be added to others already installed on this island and in Tenerife, centers that currently generate 600 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect ones, according to IAC estimates.
The TMT would generate about 160 direct jobs and more than 300 indirect jobs.
But the value of the project goes further. In fact, especially La Palma and Tenerife have already positioned themselves as global references in the study of the universe.
The project also has, however, detractors in the Canary Islands. The collective Ben Magec- Ecologists in Action believes that there should have been an environmental impact study, and therefore they went to court.
For the spokesman of the group, Pablo Batista, the danger is that the load capacity of the island’s summit is not respected and La Palma ends up being filled with telescopes without complying with the management plan.
According to a report presented last year by the IAC, astrophysics generates 3.5 million euros in the Canary Islands for every euro invested in GDP.
In 2016 alone, this activity contributed to the creation of 1,554 full-time annual jobs, including both workers hired directly by the sector and its derivatives.
The analysis also concluded that, “although the Astrophysics sector in Tenerife represents 0.43% of island GDP and 0.34% of salaried employment, in La Palma this figure rises to 3.3% of the GDP of the Island and 2.3% of full-time salaried employment. “
In the future they intend to launch new telescopes, such as the European Solar Telescope (EST), the new 4-meter robotic telescope (Liverpool 2 Telescope) or the Cherenkov Telescope Network (CTA), which already has one of its first telescopes at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM).
The same report already advanced that the election of La Palma as the headquarters of the TMT “could double the current impact figures” of this activity on the island.
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Hawai’i State Canoe Championships HCRA. Full represent for the MAUNA The facts the truth TMT + MAUNA KEA = DESECRATION. The solution TMT + CANARY ISLANDS = DISCOVERY. If not Canary Islands. then tough shit send it to space. We support science. More importantly it’s astronomy and we support that also considering we Polynesians have sailed our oceans guided by the stars But this has to stop you can not build an 18 story building on our sacred mountain. If u can’t build past 7 story’s in Hilo or Kona then who decides and why the FUCK would u build 18 on our mauna Shame on you. Anyone who supports this shame on you. Have you not taken enough from the Kānaka Maoli. Aole TMT #kukiaimauna #wearemaunakea #dadbodsrule #livealoha #alohaalwayswins #canaryislandshelpUs Aloha BIG J