Top lawyer burns to death in anti-fossil fuel protest

Top lawyer burns to death in anti-fossil fuel protest
Irish Cement receives approval to replace fossil fuels
Irish Cement has received permission from An Bord Pleanála to replace fossil fuels at its facilities in Mungret, Limerick, and Platin, Co Meath. The Mungret decision has been criticised by Limerick Against Pollution (LAP), according to The Irish Times. The environmental group has been critical of the plant’s environmental record and the proposal to burn used tyres. However, the EUR10m project received permission from the Limerick City and County Council to proceed. An Bord Pleanála noted that the Mungret plant is situated in an established industrial area and therefore “would not seriously injure the amenities in the area or of residential and other property in the vicinity, would not be prejudicial to public health, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience, and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”. A spokesman for Irish Cement stated that the plans are essential for the Mungret factory, as it is the only one in the country still dependent on fossil fuels. “These two positive planning decisions pave the way for further reductions in fossil fuel- use in our business, and will help the factories to reduce their CO2 emissions,” he said.

12 issues of the leading cement industry magazine, your choice of complimentary handbook, plus unlimited access to CemNet.com News, Articles and HD Videos.

The New York Times said it received an emailed copy of the note, which also said, “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.”

David Buckel. Photo credit: Reuters Warning: This story contains details that may disturb some readers.

A high-profile New York lawyer has died after setting himself on fire in a protest against fossil fuels.

Buckel was the lead attorney in in a lawsuit involving Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Nebraska. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Teena in the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.”

David Buckel, 60, doused himself in fossil fuels in Brooklyns Prospect Park before setting himself ablaze.

Buckel also served as marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for LGBT rights, where he was the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa.

In emails sent to numerous news outlets prior to his death, Mr Buckel said he had lived a life of "privilege", and had to "balance the harm caused" by his use of fossil fuels by ending his own life.

The Daily News reports that Buckel left a suicide note in a shopping cart near his body that said he hoped his death was “honorable” and “might serve others.”

"Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather. 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," he wrote.

Buckel wrote that pollution was ravaging the planet and hoped his death would serve as a symbol. But he was best known as a champion of gay rights. A 1987 graduate of Cornell Law School, he served as marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for LGBT rights. In one case he led, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples and their children were harmed because they were excluded from rights granted to married couples.

Prominent lawyer burns self to death to protest fossil fuels

"If one does not leave behind a world better for having lived in it, all that remains are selfish ends, sometimes wrapped in family or nation."

He argued against the Boy Scout ban on gay, fought for the right of gay high school students in Salt Lake City to organize a club and helped a Pennsylvania woman win a lawsuit allowing her to put “beloved life partner” on the headstone of her partner. And he spearheaded a federal case where a court ruled schools are obligated to prevent the bullying of gay students, Camilla Taylor, acting legal director at Lambda Legal, told the Times.

Mr Buckel was a fighter for LGBT rights. His firm, Lambda Legal, said his death was a "tremendous loss" for the "entire movement for social justice".

The charred remains of 60-year-old David Buckel were found in a grassy meadow in Brooklyns Prospect Park at dawn Saturday, as early-morning cyclists and joggers strode by. He left a suicide note in a shopping cart near his body, writing that he hoped his act would bring attention to the need to protect the environment.

In a post on its site, Lambda Legal said Mr Buckel worked hard to "secure justice and accountability for the murder of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was brutally raped and then killed by his rapists after law enforcement failed to intervene".

That case was later immortalised on the big screen in 1999 film Boys Dont Cry, for which Hilary Swank won an Academy Award.

“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,” the note read, according to the New York Times which received an emailed copy.

Mr Buckel also won a landmark court victory in 1996 that forced US schools to take anti-gay bullying seriously, Lambda Legal said.

Fatal self-immolation protests have been documented as far back as the fourth century, but became more common in the 1960s, particularly amongst Buddhists and anti-Communists.

Last week, the New Zealand Government announced a ban on new oil and gas exploration permits, in a bid to reduce its carbon emissions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News at Twitter: