Actor Jason Momoa delivered a speech at the United Nations on Friday in which he described humanity as “a disease that is infecting our planet” and took a thinly veiled shot at President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.
Momoa, whose blockbuster DC Universe film “Aquaman” brought in $335 million domestically and over $1 billion internationally last year, delivered the speech on behalf of “all island nations.”
“Aloha. Your excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,” Momoa told those gathered at the United Nations on Friday. “Today I stand before you as a singular representative of all island nations. I’m honored to represent those who continue to fight as stewards of this planet.”
“As a native Hawaiian born to a mother from Iowa, I have seen how one place can be oblivious to another,” he continued. “The issues facing an island can feel far-removed from a place that is land-locked in the middle of our country. However, with a foothold in two worlds, I quickly began to see how a problem for one can become a problem for all.”
“As a human family, through innovation and creativity, we have elevated ourselves and perceivably stand as the most powerful beings on earth, yet our ego, our fear, and our relentless drive for profits have made us the only species willing to force disharmony with the natural balance of our world,” he stated.
“We are the living consequence of forgotten traditions. We suffer a collective amnesia of a truth that was once understood — the truth that to cause irreversible damage to the earth, is to bring the same unto ourselves,” he asserted.
“We the island nations and all coastal communities are the front lines in this environmental crisis,” the actor continued. “The oceans are in a state of emergency. Entire marine ecosystems are vanishing with the warming of the seas. And as the waste of the world empties into our waters, we face the devastating crisis of plastic pollution.”
“We are a disease that is infecting our planet,” Momoa declared.
“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. Even at the depths of the Mariana Trench we are discovering nano plastics. And shockingly, there are more particles of plastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way. It is shameful.”
Then, like fellow celebrity activist Greta Thunberg earlier in the week, Momoa got to climate change.
“Yet, the greatest threat to small island developing states is that entire islands are drowning into the sea due to the enormous volume of emissions generated by the first world countries,” he claimed, adding: “Island nations contribute the least to this disaster but are made to suffer the weight of its consequences.”
“Our governments and corporate entities have known for decades that immediate change is needed, yet change still has not come,” he stated. “And when the front line is gone, we are doomed. There is no undoing.”
“If you continue to watch unsympathetic to the issues of island nations, this realization will soon come — that you stood by and witnessed the world cross the critical tipping point, ushering in the death of our planet,” he warned, echoing Thunberg, in telling them, “we are watching.”
Momoa also made a point of condemning the Trump administration for walking away from the Paris Agreement in 2017.
“Three years ago in Paris, the world stood united and vowed to keep the earth below 1.5 degrees of warming,” he said. “We pledged to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and to do what is right. I’m standing here today because I am ashamed that not all of our leaders have honored this agreement.”
“Delegates, I ask you now, do we still stand in unity for this cause?” he charged. “Do you intend to honor the commitments for a betterment of mankind? Or will you continue to chase short-term profits above our children’s basic human rights to live on this earth? 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.”
Momoa’s speech follows the much-publicized statement delivered by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg on Monday in which she claimed that we are “in the beginning of a mass extinction.”
“My message is that we’ll be watching you,” she told world leaders. “This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope, how dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”
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Partial transcript via Big Island Video News.