'Global warming' claims a victim

I restrained myself from commenting on the suicide to protest global warming of "famed gay rights lawyer" David Buckel for the last two days because, quite frankly, my first reactions were inappropriate laughter at what must be regarded as a human tragedy.  "What was the carbon footprint of dousing himself in flammables and releasing into the atmosphere all the carbon in a carbon-based life form?" was the first thought I had.  But after all, this is a human being, so I hesitated to mock.

After some reflection, I see that this is a tragedy in the Greek sense of the word, being based on a fatal human flaw.   The New York Daily News reported:

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."

In an email sent to the New York Times literally minutes before his suicide, he elaborated:

"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.

The police said Mr. Buckel was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. in what they said was a suicide.

Buckel was no loser with no prospects.  He is someone who had a big hand in changing the way American law and public opinion regard marriage:

Mr. Buckel was the lead attorney in Brandon v. County of Richardson, in which a Nebraska county sheriff was found liable for failing to protect Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Falls City, Neb.  Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Mr. Teena in the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry."

While serving as marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, Mr. Buckel was the strategist behind important same-sex marriage [sic] cases in New Jersey and Iowa.

Lambda Legal credited Mr. Buckel for focusing the organization on the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender youth.  One of the cases Mr. Buckel spearheaded, Nabozny v. Podlesny, was the first time a federal court ruled that schools have an obligation to prevent the bullying of gay students, said Camilla Taylor, acting legal director at Lambda Legal.

Mr. Buckel also guided Lambda Legal's national work to allow gay people to marry [sic].  In another case he led, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples and their children were harmed because they were excluded from the rights granted via marriage.  When Mr. Buckel suggested filing a lawsuit for gay marriage [sic] in Iowa in 2005, it was legal only in Massachusetts.

Reportedly, Buckel recently "turned his attention" to apocalyptic predictions of climate disaster, which he fully bought into, presumably based on the phony scientific consensus propagated by the fraudsters who have to "adjust" real data in order to make their hypothesis slightly plausible.  The fraudsters know well that the human mind is vulnerable to predictions of apocalypse, and that encouraging panic is a great way to generate money.

Buckel was taken in by the panic, and, having vanquished his opponents in the marriage and transgenderism arenas, was convinced that he had a mission to save humanity that could be advanced by a dramatic self-immolation.  The Daily News account states that he likened himself to the Tibetan monks who self-immolated to protest China's occupation of their country.  Perhaps, at age 60, he was too young to remember a much more heavily publicized series of self-immolations carried out by Buddhist monks in South Vietnam in the 1960s, to protest U.S. backing of the Diem regime, which was headed by Catholics.   


Journalist Malcolm Browne's photograph of Quảng Đức during his self-immolation; a similar photograph won the 1963 World Press Photo of the Year.  Via Wikipedia.

Journalist Malcolm Browne's photograph of Quảng Đức during his self- immolation; a similar photograph won the 1963 World Press Photo of the Year. via Wikipedia

But Buckel forgot to wait for the cameras to record his suicide.  His previous tools had been words, and they worked brilliantly in the legal arena.  But in swaying public opinion, images are everything.  The widely photographed and publicized monk suicides helped end the Diem regime through forcing withdrawal of U.S. support, which led to a coup.

I am actually very sad for Buckel, and for his friends and family.  He is a victim of hucksters who scared him and countless schoolchildren into panic.  The fraudsters continue to fly on private jets and occupy multiple lavish residences, which people genuinely convinced that the end is near would shun.  His death is tragic, but it is also really, really stupid, once again proving that smart people, when beyond their sphere of expertise, can be deeply dumb, because they have no humility.  The Greeks called it "hubris."

I restrained myself from commenting on the suicide to protest global warming of "famed gay rights lawyer" David Buckel for the last two days because, quite frankly, my first reactions were inappropriate laughter at what must be regarded as a human tragedy.  "What was the carbon footprint of dousing himself in flammables and releasing into the atmosphere all the carbon in a carbon-based life form?" was the first thought I had.  But after all, this is a human being, so I hesitated to mock.

After some reflection, I see that this is a tragedy in the Greek sense of the word, being based on a fatal human flaw.   The New York Daily News reported:

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."

In an email sent to the New York Times literally minutes before his suicide, he elaborated:

"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.

The police said Mr. Buckel was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. in what they said was a suicide.

Buckel was no loser with no prospects.  He is someone who had a big hand in changing the way American law and public opinion regard marriage:

Mr. Buckel was the lead attorney in Brandon v. County of Richardson, in which a Nebraska county sheriff was found liable for failing to protect Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Falls City, Neb.  Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Mr. Teena in the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry."

While serving as marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, Mr. Buckel was the strategist behind important same-sex marriage [sic] cases in New Jersey and Iowa.

Lambda Legal credited Mr. Buckel for focusing the organization on the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender youth.  One of the cases Mr. Buckel spearheaded, Nabozny v. Podlesny, was the first time a federal court ruled that schools have an obligation to prevent the bullying of gay students, said Camilla Taylor, acting legal director at Lambda Legal.

Mr. Buckel also guided Lambda Legal's national work to allow gay people to marry [sic].  In another case he led, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples and their children were harmed because they were excluded from the rights granted via marriage.  When Mr. Buckel suggested filing a lawsuit for gay marriage [sic] in Iowa in 2005, it was legal only in Massachusetts.

Reportedly, Buckel recently "turned his attention" to apocalyptic predictions of climate disaster, which he fully bought into, presumably based on the phony scientific consensus propagated by the fraudsters who have to "adjust" real data in order to make their hypothesis slightly plausible.  The fraudsters know well that the human mind is vulnerable to predictions of apocalypse, and that encouraging panic is a great way to generate money.

Buckel was taken in by the panic, and, having vanquished his opponents in the marriage and transgenderism arenas, was convinced that he had a mission to save humanity that could be advanced by a dramatic self-immolation.  The Daily News account states that he likened himself to the Tibetan monks who self-immolated to protest China's occupation of their country.  Perhaps, at age 60, he was too young to remember a much more heavily publicized series of self-immolations carried out by Buddhist monks in South Vietnam in the 1960s, to protest U.S. backing of the Diem regime, which was headed by Catholics.   


Journalist Malcolm Browne's photograph of Quảng Đức during his self-immolation; a similar photograph won the 1963 World Press Photo of the Year.  Via Wikipedia.

Journalist Malcolm Browne's photograph of Quảng Đức during his self- immolation; a similar photograph won the 1963 World Press Photo of the Year. via Wikipedia

But Buckel forgot to wait for the cameras to record his suicide.  His previous tools had been words, and they worked brilliantly in the legal arena.  But in swaying public opinion, images are everything.  The widely photographed and publicized monk suicides helped end the Diem regime through forcing withdrawal of U.S. support, which led to a coup.

I am actually very sad for Buckel, and for his friends and family.  He is a victim of hucksters who scared him and countless schoolchildren into panic.  The fraudsters continue to fly on private jets and occupy multiple lavish residences, which people genuinely convinced that the end is near would shun.  His death is tragic, but it is also really, really stupid, once again proving that smart people, when beyond their sphere of expertise, can be deeply dumb, because they have no humility.  The Greeks called it "hubris."