Momoa spoke on behalf of the Small Island states
Speaking on behalf of island nations, actor and environmentalist Jason Momoa spoke in front of the United Nations about the climate crisis. He delivered a powerful speech where he said, in part, “stop half-assing it” when it comes to efforts that will impact our entire planet.
The Aquaman actor spoke at a meeting on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the General Assembly hall on Friday, urging governments to take action. “We are the living consequence of forgotten traditions. We suffer the collective amnesia of a truth that was once understood,” the Hawaii-born father-of-two said. “The truth that to cause irreversible damage to the earth, is to bring the same onto ourselves. We the island nations and all coastal communities are the front lines of this climate crisis.”
He shared his speech on Instagram, telling fans that being invited to speak was a “life-changing moment, a true honor to represent island nations at the UN.”
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That was a life changing moment, a true honor to represent island nations at the UN. It takes an amazing team and support system to pull off something like this. I am deeply grateful to my wife and children, my mother @lonelywhale @duneives @realdealmada @paakai97 @maluhiakinimaka @UnitedNations @UN_PGA #kukiaimauna #SAMOAPathway #SIDSSummit. Aloha j #purpsonpurpslookgood #wegotsomethingtosay #nomorehalf-assing #3kanakasandaMADA
In his speech, Momoa pleaded with delegates to protect global waters and the islands that are “drowning” due to sea levels rising as a result of climate change. “We, the island nations and all coastal communities, are the front-lines in this environmental crisis,” he said. “Entire islands are drowning into the sea due to the enormous volume of emissions generated by first world countries.”
In another part of his speech, Momoa spoke directly to the human element of the issue. “We are a disease that is infecting our planet. From the atmosphere to the abyssal zone, we are polluted. It is a known fact that the Great Garbage Patch floating in the Pacific is larger than the country of France,” he said.
He shared his speech in full on Instagram, saying, “We have to change now. For the future of our planet, and Small Island Developing States, the wave of change is coming.”
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For those who couldn’t watch it live, watch me fumble through my very honest and direct speech. No BS. Nothing sugar coated, just straight from the heart. We’ve been half assing our global efforts to reverse the climate crisis and this can’t continue. We have to change now. For the future of our planet, and Small Island Developing States, the wave of change is coming. Aloha J #UniteTheNations @unitednations
During his speech, Momoa addressed the planet as a whole but spoke passionately about the islands. “There are more plastic particles in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way. It is shameful. But the greatest threat to Small Island States.”
Momoa is no stranger to standing up for what he believes in. Fighting with local protestors to stop the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Hawaii’s beloved dormant volcano, Mauna Kea he told CNN, “It started in 2015, [I] heard the news about it and you know, it’s my home,” he said. “I’m Hawaiian. It’s my nationality. What’s happening over there was just not right. And I wanted to bring awareness to it. And I went over there to meet with everyone and from then on, it’s just been this constant as a devotion to bringing awareness to the world.”
Momoa studied marine biology at Des Moines Area Community College and then went on to major in wildlife biology at Colorado State, and his love of the environment was clear during his speech. “We must right the wrongs we have done against our children and grandchildren because we are gifting them with a world that suffers from our irresponsible stewardship,” he said. “Change cannot come in 2050 or 2030 or even 2025. The change must come today. We can no longer afford the luxury of half-assing it as we willingly force ourselves beyond the threshold of no return.”