Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

NYC: Lawyer Sets Himself On Fire In Suicide Protest Of Fossil Fuels

NYC: Lawyer Sets Himself On Fire In Suicide Protest Of Fossil Fuels

“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”

A prominent LGBT rights attorney, David Buckel, committed suicide by setting himself on fire in New York’s Prospect Park.  Buckel, who was involved in the Brandon Teena murder case made famous by the film Boys Don’t Cry, left suicide notes and mailed copies to various media outlets.

Buckel wrote that his final act of “early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves” and expressed his hope that his suicide will serve others in some way.

The New York Daily News reports:

A nationally known advocate for gay rights and the environment died Saturday in a fiery Prospect Park suicide, with his self-immolation meant as a wake-up call to save the planet.

The charred remains of David Buckel, 60, were discovered shortly after sunrise when firefighters responded to a 6:40 a.m. blaze in the southwest corner of the sprawling Brooklyn park.

“I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide,” read a hand-written suicide note left near the blackened circle of burned grass. “I apologize to you for the mess.”

A second, longer note — left with the first inside an envelope marked “For the police” — said Buckel doused himself in “fossil fuel” before starting the fatal fire as a metaphor for the destruction of the planet.

“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” he wrote. “A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life . . . Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purchase in death.

“I hope it is an honorable death that might serve others.”

. . . .  “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 Times received a copy of Buckel’s suicide note and has more.

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.

“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” he 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.”

In his note, which was received by The Times at 5:55 a.m., Mr. Buckel discussed the difficulty of improving the world even for those who make vigorous efforts to do so.

Privilege, he said, was derived from the suffering of others.

“Many who drive their own lives to help others often realize that they do not change what causes the need for their help,” Mr. Buckel wrote, adding that donating to organizations was not enough.

Noting that he was privileged with “good health to the final moment,” Mr. Buckel said he wanted his death to lead to increased action. “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death,” he wrote.

According to the New York Daily News, Buckel was found by early morning joggers and bicyclists.

Early morning joggers and bicyclists spied the burning body as smoke wafted through the air on the year’s first warm spring morning.

“I rode by (the body) several times,” witness Rochelle Krause posted on Twitter. “The first time I tried to convince myself it was a mannequin. But then the fire department showed up.”

Bicyclist Rahmin Pavlovic, 43, of Brooklyn, said Buckel’s choice of location was no coincidence.

“It’s definitely some kind of statement,” said Pavlovic. “He did it out in the open, right near the main entrance — not in some tucked away part of the park.”

Buckel, a prominent LGBT attorney working with Lambda Legal, has long been a proponent of same-sex marriage.  In 2008, he was involved in getting UPS to grant same-sex benefits to employees in New Jersey, as they had in Massachusetts.



Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Such a waste when anyone takes their own life. And only now does he realize when he has to answer before God.

    david7134 in reply to Othniel. | April 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Actually this is the only true answer to the hoax of global warming religion. The real source of CO2 in our atmosphere is the enormous global population. So the best answer to the concern of the liberals is to have them voluntarily reduce the population of the world with such acts. After all, their answer to combat global warming is to eliminate our way of life.

      Barry in reply to david7134. | April 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      “Mr. Buckel said he wanted his death to lead to increased action.”

      I can only hope others of the same persuasion follow his lead.

This is the highest sacrifice for those who worship the earth. This is the new Vietnam and he is the new monk.

His carbon footprint is no more.

My only question? High test, regular or with ethanol?

All the discussion is about what he said about fossil fuels. I haven’t seen any discussion of his obvious mental illness. It’s a shame. The poor guy needed help and now it’s too late.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to irv. | April 17, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    To be a “liberal” today is to admit “mental illness,” no?

I’m I the only one who feels that Al Gore has blood on his hands?

    DaveGinOly in reply to Redneck Law. | April 15, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I was thinking exactly the same thing. This guy killed himself over the hysteria generated by environmentalist quacks.

Typical behavior of a coward. Whether you agree with his beliefs or not (I’m guessing you don’t), instead of standing up and fighting for what he believes in, he kills himself in a spectacularly gruesome fashion, which other people then have to clean up, to say nothing of traumatizing random strangers, causing untold grief and despair among his friends, family and clients and associates, and leaves his delusional dream of a fossil-free utopia for others to struggle and suffer for. Way to go, coward.

    alaskabob in reply to MrSatyre. | April 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I would differ. By his age, he lived during the Vietnam Era and knew of the profound effect the suicide of that Buddhist monk by gasoline in Saigon had on Anti-War protestors.

    But the death is in a small echo chamber devoid of the weekly death toll in SE Asia that everyone knew of. The environmentalists live in a claustrophobic world of impending heat prostration, draught, drowning sea coasts and starvation. With the whole world dying there is nowhere to run, no planet close enough, no alien beings to save them from the evil of corporations such as big tobacco, big pharma, big oil or big guns. It is a battle of epic life and death proportions.

    This is why he flicked his Bic.

      scaulen in reply to alaskabob. | April 16, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Yeah but that “Monk” was high as hell and brainwashed into the political theater the communists were producing almost daily. I have friends who fled Vietnam after the war and they all tell the same story about that show. Also a true Buddhist would never ever had done that, it’s against the first precept of not killing.

Maybe the Progs have many more like him?

As a way to publicize the importance of minimizing one’s carbon footprint, this can’t be considered a success.

In any event, I don’t really see that this performance makes a convincing scientific or economic case for anything much, unless it’s the importance of mental health in general.

In the end, a sincere and dedicated loon is still a loon.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to tom_swift. | April 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    But now he is a good liberal and LBQTQ-XYZ advocate.

    A dead one.

    I can imagine a funny scene.

    The judge says, “Sir, why were you urinating in public?”

    The defendant responds, “I was trying to put out the fire consuming a liberal, queer lawyer.”

    The solicitor interrupts, “Your honor, the fire had been out for 15 minutes…”

    [The courtroom erupts in laughter.]

      Tom Servo in reply to OleDirtyBarrister. | April 15, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Apparently he never understood Gen’l Patton’s wishes. Patton didn’t want his men to die for their country; he wanted his men to make the enemy die for THEIR country!

      That is cruel. Almost as bad as my old brother explaining to his kids about the dead baby jokes he taught me. ( told them they better ask him about it) We won’t discuss the joke about the lady with one short leg called Ileane, either.

i second the bit about mental illness…

no sane, rational person can examine all the facts and still believe in the glow bulb warming guavno.

The people who blow global warming all out of proportion have blood on their hands. This poor mentally ill person was prodded into this act by believing their lies.

DieJustAsHappy | April 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

I recall a time when, psychologically, I was in a very, very dark pace, one from which there appeared to be no hope and no return. How I did so is beyond me. Not all are so fortunate.

So, prayers for the repose of the soul of David Buckel and for his family and friends.

    DieJustAsHappy in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | April 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    My apologies for not having proofed my original comment.

    “How I did so is beyond me” is to be replaced with “How I was pulled back from this is beyond me.” And, the rest follows.

Just more proof that the progressive movement is a mental disorder. While this lunatic claimed that he was doing this act as a protest of climate change (maybe his real protest was that spring just doesn’t want to get here) he used that to elevate himself in other peoples eyes for the selfish act of killing himself. He wanted to die, so he acted the drama queen to have people notice him for more than just some sleazy lawyer.

This man was obviously mentally ill. If only we would ban gasoline, or at least require an instant background check before a person could buy it, he would be alive today.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Common sense gasoline laws are worth it even if they save only one life!

      MarkSmith in reply to DaveGinOly. | April 15, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      I wonder if he used E25? Maybe we should ban anyone over the age of 25 from using E25 with background checks for everyone.

      In a more somber note, I pray for everyone that had to encounter this guy and his terrible act. I sure hope no kids saw what this guy did. These are horrible things to come across.

Well, he got the attention he wanted since there a numerous articles on this last night and today.

But the response isn’t going quite like he planned.

Most are just shaking their heads at the stunt or laughing or pointing out his obvious mental illness.

Even the Media sMatters tolls on other sites aren’t going “See??? We need to save the Erf!”

He tried to make a statement be the definitive description of his life. Except people either pity him and/or think he should have been in a psych hospital.

Bucky Barkingham | April 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm

The suicide note’s reference to being blessed with good health right up until the end makes me think that he had a terminal illness. Considering his legal specialty one suspects HIV/AIDS. Very sad that a successful professional man would choose such a fruitless exit.

Perfect example of the Marxist left idiots.

May they all choose the same path.

Well this puts to rest the myth of homosexual suicide. Seriously, the psychiatric profession needs to give them an apology for delisting it from the DSM. It is just as destructive as any other paraphilia.

Henry Hawkins | April 15, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Impossible to say without proper examination, but this guy was obviously suicidal independent of his politics. His chosen method was very likely intended to ameliorate his death, to justify it, as opposed to being found in bed of an overdose, in a bathtub with wrists slit, or any other of the more common methods – none of which would allow his family and friends to call him a ‘hero’ for the cause as his self-immolation does. He tried to turn a selfish act into selfless activism.

About 20-25 years ago, a young family man in Raleigh, NC got a diagnosis of terminal cancer and decided to commit suicide to spare his wife and kids the expense of fruitless palliative treatment. He too made a gesture to make his death somehow heroic, if only in his own mind. One night he got drunk, took a pistol, and shot as many drug dealers/users as he could find in his neighborhood, hitting four and killing one, then committed ‘suicide by cop’ when they arrived soon after.

Lordy Almighty I feel my temperature rising
Higher Higher It’ s burning through to my soul

The environment was the excuse not the cause.

Bye, bye Bucky!

“I hate fossil fuels, so I’m using fossil fuels to kill myself.”

No Darwin Award for you!

    nordic_prince in reply to locomotivebreath1901. | April 15, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    My initial thought was that such a stupid stunt would indeed make him a candidate for a Darwin Award. But seeing as how he was the type that didn’t really care to propagate his genes to the next generation, he essentially took himself out of the gene pool anyhow. No loss there.

Chuck Schumer will introduce gun control legislation Mon am to prevent future suicides by petrochemical.

What a weird and sad case. Clearly Buckel had reached a deeply delusional state, evidenced by his absurd belief that his suicide would help rid the world of fossil fuels.

What drove this deeply flawed but once functioning human being to such delusional self destruction? I have to wonder if he started taking Ambien a week ago.

This is very sad. I wonder why he did it.

The effects of his action will wear off as quickly as today’s news cycle.

If other environmental activists want to follow in his footsteps, I’m fine with it.

Let’s see…
-A lawyer
-AGW desiple
-Anti fossil fuel.

It explains the entire mental state of mind. (Unbalanced)

As a layperson in psychology, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that this poor man was struggling with serious mental health issues, and, that, despite his professed motive, fossil fuels had about as much causation vis-a-vis his suicide as the current moon phase.

It’s always very sad to see a mentally ill person not receive the treatment that he/she needs. And, needless to say, there is no shortage of decent therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists in NYC.

Another liberal activist making an ash of himself in public.

Henry Hawkins | April 16, 2018 at 9:03 am

I’d like to congratulate the LI community for not going with the obvious joke about… ahem… flaming homosexuals.

I feel so undiminished, somehow.

Clearly a mental health issue. He became his own carbon footprint.