"I can't figure out WTF you're talking about in AZ, in fact it looks like astronomers there are winning victories to fight light pollution. The thing in HI is not left vs. science. To the extent that any of the people involved are lefties (which sure, some of them are) they have been whipped into a froth by right-wing politicians. And the battle ties into a fight for the land which the Hawaiian natives, frankly, have not given up fighting. Remember, it's not like they simply chose to join an empire."
You may not have been in Arizona long enough to have known what I was talking about, but protesters working for an outfit called Deep Green Resistance spent years filing fatuous lawsuits against the building of several large telescopes on Mt. Graham in the southeastern part of the state. The first excuse they used was critical habitat for red squirrels living on the mountain. When that fell flat, red squirrels being both common and not endangered by this particular type of human activity, Deep Green switched its attack to a claim that the site was sacred to the San Carlos Apache, a tribe which lives nowhere near the mountain and never evinced particular interest in it. During Clinton's second term construction was finally accomplished, years late and far over budget. That's the Greens' whole strategy - keep throwing groundless legal objections at the wall until even if nothing sticks, the target project becomes too expensive to finish. One argument that the Greens actually used in Arizona was "Build in Hawaii instead, because it's an even better site for astronomy!"
Having been unsuccessful in Arizona, Deep Green moved its attack to Hawaii, where they have been delaying the Thirty Meter Telescope by whipping up a native rights controversy. That is what is wending its way through the court system now.
This is Deep Green's manifesto against astronomy: https://dgrnewsservice.org/civ...
The author of this piece, Will Falk, has been all over Mauna Kea, egging on the protesters.