(BIVN) – Actor and ocean activist Jason Momoa delivered a speech on behalf of small island nations Friday at the United Nations, and ended his 6-minute talk with a gesture in support of the movement to stop the Thirty Meter Telescope from building on Mauna Kea.
Momoa provided remarks at the High-level meeting to review progress made in addressing the priorities of Small Island Developing States through the implementation of the Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway.
“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.”
Momoa painted a dire picture of mankind’s abuse of the environment, and the particular devastating impacts of sea level rise on island nations that are going underwater.
“We are the living consequence of forgotten traditions,” Momoa said. “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.”
“We the island nations – and all coastal communities – are the front lines in this environmental crisis,” said the actor who portrayed Aquaman on the silver screen. “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 said.
“Three years ago in Paris, the world stood united and vowed to keep the earth below 1.5 degrees of warming,” speaking of the Paris Agreement. “We pledged to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and to do what is right.”
President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement in 2017.
“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? 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 said towards the end of his talk.
Momoa ended his speech with an “aloha”, and then made a triangle hand gesture and yelled “Kū Kiaʻi Mauna”, which those on Hawaiʻi Island know to be a show of support for the effort to stop the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Momoa has been supportive of the kiaʻa on making their stand at the base of the Mauna Kea Access Road, and visited a couple of times over the summer to stand with them.