A gay man and attorney who worked on high-profile LGBT cases, including a challenge the Boy Scouts ban on homosexual members, set himself on fire on Saturday at a public park in New York City to protest fossil fuels and climate change, according to a suicide note.
The charred remains of David Buckel were found by a jogger in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
The Daily Mail reported:
David Buckel, 60, was found in the park at 6.30 a.m. on Saturday before hundreds descended on it to enjoy the warm spring weather.
He left a note in a bag for police which read: ‘My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide.
“I apologize to you for the mess,” the note said.
“He was protesting over climate change, his note read, and the dramatic method was intended as a metaphor for how fossil fuels are destroying the planet,” the Mail reported.
“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” the New York Daily News reported his suicide note said.
A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life. … Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purchase in death.
‘This is not new, as many have chose [sic] to give a life based on the view that no other action can most meaningfully address the harm they see.
Here is a hope that giving a life might bring some attention to the need for expanded actions, and help others give a voice to our home, and Earth is heard.
Buckel worked on cases for Lamda Legal, one of the largest LGBT advocacy and legal groups in the nation.
The news of David Buckel’s death is heartbreaking. This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice. https://t.co/SL9XZ2cYTR
— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) April 14, 2018
“Friends said that after he left the organization, Mr. Buckel became involved in environmental causes, which he alluded to in his note as the reason he decided to end his life by self-immolation with fossil fuels,” the New York Times reported.
“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water, and weather,” Buckel wrote in the email sent to the Times. “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”