Although his little “I was run over by a bulldozer” joke was adorable, Jason Momoa’s TMT protest is dumb. And here is why.

Jason Momoa joked about having to “forcefully step-down” from his role as Arthur in Aquaman 2 because “he might get run over by a bulldozer.” Despite idiots like Buzzfeed reporting the possibility, rest assured, the movie is still happening and Momoa will be returning. Momoa’s TMT protest won’t change that.

At first glance, this protest seems to be one of a noble cause. The Mauna Kea mountain is a sacred site that hosts a profound history for both the evolution of mankind and cultural and religious identity of Hawaii natives. It was the birth place for the highest ranking Ali’i (king/queen). Worship rituals were often carried out in these mountains, and it known as the area where Papa meets Wakea (where the Earth meets the Heavens). But, more importantly, it is also one of Hawaii’s primary sources for fresh water. It seems like a no-brainer, right? They should definitely not build that Thirty Meter Telescope there, right? Wrong!

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I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I have given this some thought and have concluded that Jason Momoa’s TMT protest, although understandable and honourable, is just dated and dumb. The pros of building the telescope at this very locations far outweigh the cons. It’s not like they are building a hotel or anything, they are building one of the largest telescopes in the world for the betterment of astronomical studies. And here is why that is important:

Why Jason Momoa’s TMT protest is dumb

Astronomy is arguably the oldest of the sciences. In the last 2000 years, human understanding of the universe has leapt forward incrementally with each new technology. As our level of knowledge grows, the next level of questions that arise require facilities with even greater capabilities to gather the observations needed to answer them. Nowadays, no single university or country, has the technological resources to build the facilities required to answer key questions about the structure and evolution of the universe and the enigmatic processes, environments and bodies that pervade the cosmos. 

A decade ago, international partners from around the world envisioned the largest telescope to be build – the Thirty Meter Telescope.  The Thirty Meter Telescope will be the largest ground-based observatory in the world and will provide new observational opportunities in essentially every field of astronomy and astrophysics. Astronomers will pursue further advancement of our understanding in several key science areas, including:

  • Spectroscopic exploration of the “dark ages” when the first sources of light and the first heavy elements in the universe formed;
  • Exploration of galaxies and large-scale structure in the young universe, including the era in which most of the stars and heavy elements were formed and the galaxies in today’s universe were first assembled
  • Investigations of massive black holes throughout cosmic time
  • Exploration of planet-formation processes and the characterization of extra-solar planets
  • Discovery observations that push into the terrestrial-planet regime

Furthermore, as has been the case for every previous increase in capability of this magnitude, it is very likely that the scientific impact of TMT will go far beyond what we envision today and TMT will enable discoveries that we cannot anticipate.

An asteroid nearly killed us all…

It is bloody scary just how little we know about space even today. Did you know just last month an Extinction Level Event nearly took place as a massive asteroid barely missed us? We are able to monitor most astronomical activities around our planet, but there are still miss things from time to time. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find out how close we’ve come to complete annihilation before. Heck, there is an asteroid that’s bigger than the Eiffel Tower and more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb hurtling near Earth, and NASA have declared it a potentially hazardous!

So, I’m sorry Jason Momoa. I love you and cannot wait to see Aquaman 2, but I think you should invest in your future and maybe let go off your past.