Earth Day is a day to bring awareness to climate change.
As The Blast previously reported, a man named Wynn Alan Bruce set himself on fire on Earth Day in front of the Supreme Court in order to raise awareness of climate change. Bruce, 50, of Boulder, Colorado, reportedly died of his injuries after being airlifted to a hospital following the incident.
Although many media outlets have hesitated to name a motive for the incident, users online have been exploring his social media accounts to try to determine a motive.
Screenshots Reveal Earth Day Protest Was Seemingly Premidated
One user, Rebecca Field, shared a Facebook screenshot of Wynn Alan Bruce’s Facebook account, which showed him sharing a post titled “Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact.” In the comments, Wynn wrote “4-1-1[fire-emoji]4/22/2022.”
Wynn Alan Bruce announced his date and manner of death a year ago. pic.twitter.com/QQvLKn08tj
— Rebecca Field (@rebs_field) April 23, 2022
Another post showed that the comment had an edit history. Although they made the initial post “4-1-1” on April 20, 2021, they added the fire emoji on October 19, and the date of his death, which fell on Earth Day, on April 2, only twenty days before his death.
Sort of. Comment has an edit history. The date was only recently added, and without it, there isn’t much to act on. pic.twitter.com/6M3B18Wm2L
— Eva Rawls, PhD (@EvaRawlsPhD) April 24, 2022
Another user named Andrew Bear found more information about Bruce from his Facebook page and detailed it in a lengthy Twitter thread.
Bruce Was ‘Someone Who Cared About Stopping Climate Change’
1. Yesterday, on Earth Day, a man named Wynn Alan Bruce set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court, in Washington DC. Those who knew Wynn describe him as very kind, someone who cared about stopping climate change. pic.twitter.com/WnWoEcHXhi
— Andrew Bear (@1andrewbear) April 24, 2022
On Sunday, Bear tweeted, “Yesterday, on Earth Day, a man named Wynn Alan Bruce set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court, in Washington DC. Those who knew Wynn describe him as very kind, someone who cared about stopping climate change.”
“I want to share two things about Wynn Alan Bruce,” he continued. “First, I will share the words that Wynn posted on his Facebook site that express his faith in the Shambhala tradition of Buddhism. Second, I will share words of Thich Nhat Hanh about those who burned themselves in Vietnam.”
“Wynn shared the following on December 25, 2021: Now I awaken basic goodness in my heart. I confidently awaken my innate qualities — Goodness, wisdom, kindness and strength — Within the sun of basic goodness,” he continued to quote. “May the basic goodness I discovered today continue to grow and grow…May this primordial truth, the inheritance of all humanity, be a brilliant torch to guide all beings. May the warm-heartedness, I have discovered, be a parasol to protect all beings.”
He went on, “May the courageousness of this moment never be forgotten. May there be harmony between biospheric family, friends and nations. May the Earth be healed. May the elements be balanced. May humanity have peace. May enlightened society manifest on this Earth.”
Bear also shared the Thich Nhat Hanh on self-immolation: “The press spoke of suicide, but in the essence, it is not…burning themselves aimed only at alarming, at moving the hearts of the oppressors, and at calling the attention of the world to the suffering endured then by the Vietnamese.”
He continued: “To burn oneself by fire is to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance…. The Vietnamese monk, by burning himself, says with all his strength and determination that he can endure the greatest of sufferings to protect his people.”
“To express will by burning oneself, therefore, is not to commit an act of destruction but to perform an act of construction, that is, to suffer and to die for the sake of one’s people. This is not suicide.”