In the DC movie Aquaman, the ocean is Jason Momoa’s natural domain — and he just spoke out in its defence in real life. The 40-year-old actor delivered an eloquent and passionate speech about ocean pollution and climate change at a United Nations meeting in New York.
“The oceans are in a state of emergency,” he said in his address. “Entire marine ecosystems are vanishing with the warming of the seas, and as the waste of our world empties into our waters, we face the devastating crisis of plastic pollution.” He went on to call the amount of plastic in the oceans “shameful”, pointing out the shocking reality that there are now more plastic particles in the seas than there are stars in our galaxy.
“We are a disease that is infecting our planet,” he continued. ““As a human species we need the earth to survive. But make no mistake – the earth doesn’t need us.”
The meeting specifically concerned Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Barbados, Samoa and Haiti. Describing himself as a “singular representative of all island nations”, Momoa (who comes from Hawaii) spoke with firsthand knowledge of how pollution affects these communities.
“Island nations contribute the least to this disaster, but are made to suffer the weight of its consequences,” he said, adding: “The people will hold our governments and corporate powers accountable for the destruction you are allowing to our environment.”
Momoa, who described his visit to the U.N. as a “true honor” and a “life-changing moment,” has been outspoken on behalf of island communities before. Earlier this year, he lent his voice to the protests taking place in Hawaii over the construction of a telescope on Mauna Kea, which is considered a holy site by islanders. He even went so far as to say that he’d be willing to “get run over by a bulldozer” for the cause, and that the protests might lead to a delay in shooting Aquaman 2.