On April 22, 2022 early reports of a man who attempted to set himself on fire rung out over social media. Subsequent videos showed a medical helicopter landing near the Supreme Court. New details have been released regarding the man and motive.
Wynn Bruce was a Boulder, CO climate activist. The leader of his Buddhist temple. Dr. K. Kritee, provided a heartfelt commentary on his passing:
"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. We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for at least one year. #wynnbruce I am so moved."
The act was committed on Earth Day. The belief is that his intent was to "amplify the reality that billions will likely suffer and die agonizing deaths from climate collapse". Although the police have no officially released their investigative findings, those who knew Bruce have been vocal about their theories and support for what happened.
Climate change is a point of contention in political and scientific arenas. NASA's dedicated Vital Signs of the Planet site shares some grim research. Their message is clear:
It is undeniable that human activities have warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land and that widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere have occurred.
Whatever you might believe about climate change, it was clear that Wynn Bruce believed that climate change is a reality that needs more visibility. There will be a vigil held for him in Washington DC on April 29th. His friends and family have expressed support on his Facebook.