Kirsters Baish| This past Saturday, a man set himself on fire in a public New York City park in protest against fossil fuels and climate change, according to his suicide note. The gay attorney had worked on multiple high-profile LGBT cases, which includes a case against eh Boy Scouts of America’s ban on homosexual members.
A jogger found the burnt remains of the man who was identified as David Buckel in Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
The Daily Mail reported that David Buckel, a 60-year-old man, was found dead in Prospect Park around 6:30 a.m. this past Saturday morning. Buckel left a suicide note in a bag for the police to find. The note read, ‘”My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide. I apologize to you for the mess.”
“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 Daily Mail reported.
The New York Daily News reported that Buckel’s suicide note also said, “My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves. 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 had been a part of cases working for Lambda Legal, which is one of the most well known LGBT advocacy and legal groups in all of the United States.
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
The New York Times reported that those close to Buckel explained that after he left Lambda Legal, he started working on environmental causes. His suicide note seems to indicate that the reason he felt it was necessary to kill himself using fossil fuels was to prove a point.
Buckel had previously sent an email to the Times which stated, “Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water, and weather. 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.”
The Times also reported that Buckel had texted a coworker, Domingo Morales, to tell him that he wouldn’t be coming into work as he was sick. Morales didn’t think much of it, but twenty-five minutes later when Buckel sent him an email which read, “I apologize for leaving this world early and leaving you with some big challenges to tackle. But I have to at least try to make this planet a better place for having lived on it.” Unfortunately, Morales didn’t see the evil until he was done at work on Saturday.
“I was like, ‘What does this mean? Is he dead?” Mr. Morales explained.
Our condolences go out to Mr. Buckel’s family and friends at this time.