Jason Momoa has addressed the UN regarding the dangers of pollution facing the world’s oceans. The actor is typically found in roles as powerful fighters and the best known among them is his starring turn in Aquaman. In that film, Momoa was also battling for the ultimate safety of the Seven Seas, and is not the first time he has used his status to draw attention to environmental problems facing the planet.
The main plot of Aquaman, a sequel to which is in the works, saw king-to-be Arthur on a quest for the trident of King Atlan in order take the throne of Atlantis from his half-brother, Orm and prevent him from becoming Ocean Master, but that wasn’t all there was to the story issues. Part of Orm’s motivation for becoming the ultimate ruler of the undersea realms was a desire to wage war against the “surface dwellers” for their willful pollution of the planet’s oceans. His aggressive warmongering unequivocally marks him as the villain of the story, but that doesn’t stop him from having a valid point about both the reality of the problem and its source.
A video of the six-minute address was posted to Jason Momoa’s Instagram. Momoa is originally an islander himself – he was born on Hawai’i and his father is a native – and perhaps second to only Dwayne Johnson is one of the world’s highest profile actors with such a heritage, and so has a personal connection to the problems addressed. Similar to the way in which Arthur Curry himself acts as a bridge between two worlds, Momoa explained that growing up in his mother’s native Iowa afforded him a dual perspective of the symbiosis of places far removed from one another. In a subduedly presented but passionately driven speech you could easily imagine as having been ripped from the pages of an Aquaman comic, he declared that “ego, fear and relentless drive for profits” have turned humans into “the living consequence of forgotten traditions.” He highlighted the scale of the problem by speaking about a patch of garbage larger than France floating in the Pacific, plastic having found its way into the Mariana Trench (the deepest point on the surface of the planet), and there being “more plastic particles in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way.”
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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
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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
He went on to speak of the dangers this directly poses to island nations - those who contribute least to the problem but are affected by it the most as they are gradually swallowed by rising sea levels and vast swathes of garbage being washed up on their beaches. He lays the blame at the feet of governments and corporations who are aware of what is required of them to rectify the problems but have not done so, and that immediate change is needed if future generations are to inherit a planet that is in any way habitable.
People often criticize celebrities for speaking out on issues beyond the world of entertainment, but it can be helpful to have them address topics about which they are passionate, as this generates press and subsequently highlights issues to people who might otherwise remain oblivious to them. The notion of the actor who played Aquaman speaking about the dangers facing the ocean has a certain metafictional appeal, but the lack of reference to the connection in Momoa’s speech is a tacit indicator of how seriously he intends his words to be taken. The language of his speech is dramatic and emotional, and was doubtless intended to be so, consisting entirely of provocative yet factual statements. The only hint of informality is the declaration that “we can no longer afford the luxury of half-assing it as we willingly force ourselves beyond the threshold of no return,” which sums up the issue quite nicely.
Source: Jason Momoa
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