Last Friday, on Earth Day, a 50-year-old photographer and climate-change activist named Wynn Bruce set himself on fire outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
The act by the Colorado man — who was Buddhist — was reminiscent of a Vietnamese monk's self-immolation in 1963 protesting an oppressive regime.
Experts say Buddhism doesn't condone self-sacrifice. But they say its position is more complex when the motivation is lofty or altruistic.
One of Bruce's friends wrote an emotional post on Twitter stating his self-immolation was not suicide but a "deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to the climate crisis."