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In Hopes That Death 'Might Serve Others,' Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate David Buckel Dies in Fossil Fuel Protest


In Hopes That Death 'Might Serve Others,' Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate David Buckel Dies in Fossil Fuel Protest

Julia Conley, staff writer

Prominent LGBTQ rights lawyer and environmental campaigner David Buckel died this weekend after self-immolating in an apparent protest against the destruction caused by greenhouse gas emissions.


Terribly sad that he could think an immolation apparently witnessed by none would serve more than his vibrant life.


May he rest in peace…
This man is the real hero, the real warrior…
trying to save the world, not destroy it…
What a sad story…all we can do, in his honor, is to keep on fighting…
My condolences to his friends and family…


I also wondered that there might have been no-one to record that. But then again, who would look on and not try to stop a friend from doing that? The footage of the Buddhist monk that immolated himself during the Viet Nam war had a powerful effect; here a chronicler could be charged as an accomplice to suicide.


“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
– John 15:13 King James Version (KJV)


This is awful beyond words- the world needed him and more like him.


Chris Hedges and Mark Crispin Miller on Propaganda.




And no doubt the media will ignore, and if pressed, ridicule him, as it did to the much more visible self-immolation of jazz artist Malachi Ritscher in the grass aside a heavily traveled inbound freeway off ramp in Chicago on November 3, 2006 in protest of the Iraq War.

We have come a long way from the days of those self-immolating Buddhist Monks in Vietnam or before that, Gandhi’s near suicidal hunger strikes, had no trouble getting major media attention.

I especially implore you to listen to the YouTube video below!


Well, clearly, he should have attempted it later in the morning, when the park would have been filled with far more of those typical clueless rich young urban-yuppie-fitbit-wearing and twittering-joggers-with-their-large-breed dogs and the like.

The message would have still gone completely over their narcissistic heads anyway.

But there was a time when such a gesture would have been filled with power and influence for a better humanity. As the Japanese Zen-archery instructor of German philosopher Eugen Herrigal would say: “One life, one shot!”


"Buckel, who was 60 years old, added that he hoped his death “might serve others.”

I hope I’m wrong but I fear it won’t mean a thing in the long haul.


I agree. Hard to make sense of this.


I feel sick to my stomach.


It makes no sense at all.


This is tragic, but understandable on a number of levels…


Good god! That was very powerful. Thank you for sharing that with us.


Yes, it’s scary out there. Human civilization is facing a chronic worldwide food shortage in a few decades, and there have been cases where human civilizations such as the Mayan civilization simply collapsed under too much stress.

Worse, nearly zero people are working on solar and other climate change-related engineering in all of its different aspects. I’ve been beating my head against the wall for 20 years. A lucky handful have jobs these days, but others are out in the wilderness and their research starves. Maybe human civilization collapsed decades ago and we just didn’t know it.

No, suicide isn’t particularly effective in this crazy world. For one thing, suicide is too much an affirmation that their collective craziness is any good. After all, they’re committing suicide too in their own way. Why join them?

Living, learning and holding your rage in public is more effective.


Yet click on “YouTube” and see how few views it’s gotten over almost 11 years…


Yes I agree. But we need to honor him now, and share his message. Lets emphasize the message and not the suicide.
Moreover it interests me that his cause was environmental. For all of his legacy in LGBTQ rights, what moved him to the knifepoint of ultimate self sacrifice was environmental damage. And I read in his message and his act our entrapment. Our sadness in fact is greater than his sacrifice. He knew that. But of course he was hoping to inspire stronger action, as if to say ironically, there is still hope… So we still have to honor the cause, his and ours. Stop the cynicism. Organize as if your life depended on it, w greater purpose and creative unity…
Does anyone know about funeral or memorial service for him? We should all attend in droves. Anyone?


Well, I’m sending it on.


Silence Is Assent.


Great link! Thank you. I highly recommend it.

Mark Crispin Miller: " Even ten years ago I would have flinched if anyone would have compared the American press to the Nazi press…"