A man has taken his own life to share the message that global warming exists, and show its potential damage to humanity.
We’ve known this inconvenient truth ever since Leonardo DiCaprio put his Hollywood clout behind combatting its effects, around the same time as President Donald Trump said it didn’t exist because it was snowing in New York last year.
Really, whose side are you on? Just check this out:
[ooyala player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”854″ height=”480″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l” code=”A3cDVrZDE6_TVh8SME8raTtA1q1KPRaZ”]
There are loads of ways you can help stop global warming destroying the planet as we know it. Switch light bulbs, cycle to work, take fewer baths.
But, tragically, a green and LGBTQ+ activist died by suicide after setting himself on fire Saturday morning in New York’s Prospect Park, Brooklyn in an act of protest against the ecological destruction of the Earth.
David Buckel, 60, left behind a charred corpse and a typed suicide note that said he was burning himself to death using ‘fossil fuel’ to reflect how mankind was likewise killing itself, police sources say.
Buckel, who was a pioneering lawyer for gay and transgender rights, wrote:
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. Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death.
Buckel sent his suicide note to a number of media outlets including The New York Times.
Pretty gruesome scene in Prospect Park today. Someone should really put some mulch over the charred remains which I’ve seen several children come very close.@NYCParks @prospect_park https://t.co/ZwlrSBEGFv pic.twitter.com/vfvVnW67tG
— Gwynne Hogan (@GwynneFitz) April 14, 2018
Buckel was the lead lawyer in a case in which police in Nebraska were found to have failed to protect Brandon Teena, a transgender teen who was assaulted, raped and later murdered.
Teena’s story was the subject of the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry, for which Hilary Swank won an Academy Award.
You can watch the trailer below:
[ooyala player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”640″ height=”480″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l” code=”t2dGExZjE6g7YE4CGM5ixphdnBDoOJWY”]
Buckel also worked as marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal, which fights for LGBT rights. Lambda’s Camilla Taylor described Buckel as a ‘legal visionary’.
She said in a statement:
His thoughtful and engaging advocacy broke through many stubborn misconceptions and showed it was possible and necessary for our movement to speak up for bullied, ostracised LGBT young people.
The team shared this touching tribute:
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
Our thoughts and condolences go out to all those who loved David. We have lost a movement leader, a colleague, and a friend.
We will honor [sic] his life by continuing his fight for a better world.
This morning David Buckel set himself on fire in Brooklyn, NY, in protest to protect the planet. He was a prominent lawyer in the fight for gay rights. But he was also a nationally renown pioneer in #CommunityComposting. #DavidBuckel Read my tribute to him https://t.co/HBuA9X5Di1
— Brenda Platt (@PlattBrenda) April 15, 2018
After he retired from being a civil rights attorney, Buckel dedicated his time to developing various community compost sites in New York, with a view to environmental sustainability.
Buckel worked at the Added Value Red Hook Community Farm and served as senior Organics Recovery Coordinator for the NYC Compost Project.
The Brooklyn farm location composted 200 tons of organic waste per year.
If any of the issues above have affected you, please don’t suffer in silence. Call Samaritans anytime, from any phone, free of charge on 116 123. In the US, call 1 (800) 273-TALK. In Australia, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you have a story to tell, contact UNILAD via [email protected]
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.