April 25, 2022

Wynn Bruce, the Colorado man who set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court on Earth Day has died. You might not have noticed, since most news reported it as a random occurrence that happened for no special reason.

The location was probably not a coincidence. The court heard arguments in February on a pivotal environmental case that may restrict or even eliminate the EPA’s authority to control pollution. The court’s right-wing extremists were skeptical of the agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions. Court observers fear a decision by SCOTUS could not only block the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change, but undercut any federal agency's regulatory authority. Via the New York Times:

The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., said that Wynn Bruce, 50, of Boulder, Colo., had died on Saturday from his injuries after being airlifted to a hospital following the incident. Members of his family could not be reached immediately for comment.

Kritee Kanko, a climate scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund and a Zen Buddhist priest in Boulder, said that she is a friend of Mr. Bruce and that the self-immolation was a planned act of protest.

“This act is not suicide,” Dr. Kritee wrote on Twitter early Sunday morning. “This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis.”

Three weeks ago, the U.N. climate panel released a report that time is running out to avert the worst, but it got very little attention:

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the United Nations, warns that unless countries drastically accelerate efforts over the next few years to slash their emissions from coal, oil and natural gas, the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, will likely be out of reach by the end of this decade.

And so Wynn Bruce had set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and we didn't pay any attention to that, either.

I thought I'd remind you, so he didn't die in vain.

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