Documentary to protect Mauna Kea: “Why the Mountain”

Mauna Kea is under threat by planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Though Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian allies successfully disrupted the TMT groundbreaking ceremony, the fight isn’t over yet.

The award-winning Hawaiian filmmakers Anne Keala Kelly and Mary Alice Kaʻiulani Milham are teaming up to create a documentary in protection of Mauna Kea. They are holding a fundraiser to allow production and mass distribution of a film to galvanize opposition to the destructive and desecrating TMT project. Time is short to stop this industrial expansion, and your contribution is crucial – whether a direct monetary donation or helping by spreading the word.

Our goal is to produce a beautiful, powerful and evocative film to help people everywhere understand why Mauna Kea is sacred to Hawaiians, a fragile ecosystem that needs protection, and portrayed as indispensable to the astronomy industry.

“Why The Mountain” will be a 30-minute documentary film that explores why Hawaiians and environmentalists oppose the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT), and why the astronomy industry is determined to construct this 18 ½ – story building on Mauna Kea.


Environmentalists argue that because the largest fresh water aquifer for Hawaiʻi Island is on Mauna Kea, the potential for irreversible harm is too high a price to pay.

They say erecting a football-stadium-sized structure, and its accompanying 5,000-gallon container for hazardous chemical waste, is an unnecessary risk. Given the toxic chemicals in use by the existing 13 telescopes on the summit, the TMT only increases the threat to the watershed and endangered and threatened species’ habitats.

Follow the progress of the film project at the Why the Mountain? Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.