An environmental activist committed suicide on Saturday in a park in Brooklyn, New York, by setting himself on fire.
The man was protesting the use of “fossil fuel” — which he said was leading to an environmental disaster in the world — when he poured gasoline on himself and burned himself to death in Prospect Park.
“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 said,” reported the New York Post.
He left the note in a manila envelope marked “To The Police,” recovered from inside a black metal pushcart he discarded at the scene.
“Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result,” Buckel wrote in his note, which he also sent to the New York Times.
“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.” He added, “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death.” …
He compared his macabre demise with the suicides of those who set themselves afire to protest China’s occupation of Tibet.
“This is not new, as many have chosen to give a life based on the view that no other action can most meaningfully address the harm they see,” he wrote.
“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.”
The New York Daily News said Buckel was a “nationally known advocate for gay rights and the environment” and said he opened his note to police by saying: “I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide.” He also said, “I apologize to you for the mess.”
The Post said Buckel also “famously served as lead attorney in a lawsuit involving transgender murder victim Brandon Teena, who was raped and then killed in 1993. His story was later told in the movie ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’ starring Hilary Swank as Teena.
“A county sheriff was found negligent in the killing for failing to protect Teena from his rapists — who returned and killed Teena once he went to authorities.”