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The empty tragedy of climate suicide PR in a New York park

Pursuit of an untruth ultimately creates a vacuum.

Prominent Lawyer in Fight for Gay Rights Dies After Setting Himself on Fire in Prospect Park

Jeffrey C. Mays, NY Times

 Perhaps there was some other cause, or mental health issue and the man would have taken his life somehow, someway and left a different note. But if we take him at his word, this was a desperate end. He was chasing the impossible wisp — planetary climate control through CO2. Destined to fail, overwhelmed with the futility, he apparently saw his life as worth more dead than alive, perhaps as some inspirational saint.

Alas, true saints may sacrifice themselves for a greater cause, but they don’t issue press releases. They don’t pick the time and place.

There is a desperately hollow emptiness about trying to inspire people through suicide PR. It’s not like you want children to grow up to copy you. (The danger is — some might).

Mr. Buckel left a note in a shopping cart not far from his body and also emailed it to several news media outlets, including The New York Times.

“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.

There is no honor in choosing unnecessary death, as a kind of global billboard, only tragedy.

The one sided blind media chant painted a quandry —  the science was settled and obvious yet most of the world didn’t care, wouldn’t act, were selfish or stupid. That’s not much of a world to live for.

It is all so pointless. If wall-to-wall catastrophe reporting didn’t persuade the crowd, why would a suicide? “We’re all gonna drown, who cares? A guy killed himself with fossil fuels — time to give up the SUV and catch a train?”

It’s an empty philosophy…

h/t Scott of the Pacific, Pat.


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