A scientist and climate activist set himself on fire in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday as a form of protest for better climate change policies in the United States and across the world, dying in the process of the demonstration.

Fifty-year-old Wynn Alan Bruce, who works as a photojournalist from Boulder, Colorado, self-immolated in an attempt to galvanize the climate change movement for better policies and less inaction in pursuing an agenda to better curb the effects of climate change, according to CNN.

Climate scientist and Zen Buddhist practitioner Dr. Kritee Kanko wrote on Twitter that Bruce’s act of self-immolation was an act of protest against the government’s lack of action against climate policies and not a suicide as originally thought.

“This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis,” she said. “We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for at least one year. #wynnbruce I am so moved.”

Bruce has reportedly been planning the protest for months, and had given hints on social media regarding his planned protest, including a comment on his Facebook page that contains a fire emoji and the date “4/22/22,” the Independent reported.

The act is not the first self-immolation protest against climate change that has happened in recent years: in 2018, 60-year-old climate activist David Buckel died in Prospect Park in Brooklyn by setting himself on fire, explaining his actions to the press in an email that was sent before he died.

“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 said.

Protests from climate activists have been increasing around the United States, as the Supreme Court prepares for a decision on whether to restrict or remove the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions to control pollution.

The case, put forward by coal companies and Republican state attorneys general, would have far-reaching consequences in the United States and across the world with regard to the ability to fight back against climate change in the country.

Self-Immolation Man
Wynn Alan Bruce, a climate change activist from Colorado, set himself on fire on Saturday in protest of the U.S. government's inaction with regard to climate change in the country. This is a representational image. Mohamed Nohassi/Unsplash.

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