A Colorado man has died 24 hours after lighting himself on fire in front of the United States Supreme Court on Earth Day as part of what appears to be a religious protest against the use of fossil fuels and in order to bring attention to climate change.
On Friday evening, Washington, D.C., first responders airlifted Wynn Bruce, a 50-year-old climate activist, to a local hospital after he engulfed himself in flames. He later died Saturday evening despite medical efforts to save his life.
Those reportedly close to Bruce are emphasizing that he did not consider this to be an act of suicide, rather that he was simply practicing Shambhala Buddhism and viewed the intentional act as one of self-immolation in order to draw attention to the supposedly damaging effects of climate change.
On Twitter, Zen Buddhist priest and environmental scientist Dr. K Kritee tweeted, “This guy was my friend. He meditated with our sangha. This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis.”