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Tributes to Johnny Rook & Climaticide Chronicles

March 2nd, 2009 · 7 Comments

To honor Johnny Rook (nee Steven Kimball), his family has asked for contributions to The Johnny Rook / Steven Kimball fund.

There have been moving posts about Johnny Rook’s and the Climaticide Chronicles. Here are links to and extracts from a number of them.

A Siegel, Get Energy Smart! NOW!!! Homage to a hero: Climaticide Johnny Rook, 27 February 2009

In a variety of blogging environments, Johnny Rook has become an increasingly powerful voice in the domain of global warming moving from science to policy to, well, impressive passion about the issues and challenges we face.

What raises Johnny Rook to an even higher level, one that puts in a pantheon of heroes for me, is his personal circumstances. One might call his passion a death bed conversion as he was already ill with terminal cancer when he begin his voyage of discovery and writing on climate-change issues.

Joe Romm, Murder, He Wrote, 1 March 2009

Humanity is, as the name Climaticide Chronicles makes clear, in the process of murdering the climate. Everywhere Rook — or any of us — looks, there is more and more evidence of that crime in process … So there is hope as long as people like Johnny Rook are willing to use their energy — even their last drop of energy — to tell the world what is to come on our current path and how we can stop it …

Joe followed up with a short obituary note, RIP JohnnyRook and Climaticide Chronicles, 6 March 09 “Let me just end with what Rook posted in the comments of my tribute to him, since it was once of the last things he ever wrote:

Dear Joe,

Thank you for such a touching enconmium.

Humanity is, as the name Climaticide Chronicles makes clear, in the process of murdering the climate. Everywhere Rook — or any of us — looks, there is more and more evidence of that crime in process.

But it is not too late. The murder can be stopped. I wouldn’t be blogging if didn’t know that for a fact…. I’m sure Rook feels the same way.

I am proud to say that my 19-year old son, Aleks and a friend, Andrew, did make the choice to go in my stead and are already at the in D.C. for the Powershift Action. I know this is a going to be a very exciting time for both of them, and that they will carry the battle into the future until we have succeeded.

It’s getting harder and harder for me to write, even simple comments like this, but my thoughts and sympathies are with you always.

greenfyre, Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow, 2 March 2009

I confess I was immediately drawn to Johnny based solely on his blog’s name. My stubborn insistence on calling climate Deniers by the ugly, but nonetheless accurate name “Deniers” seemed to match his reasons for describing what we are doing to the planet as the ugly, but nonetheless accurate “climaticide.” … You clearly wanted to call that which is ugly and horrific by it’s true name so that we could call all that which is beautiful and redeeming by their true names.

konopelli, Well, At Least We Now Have A “Word For It”: Climaticide

I had not been aware of the environmental/climatological work of blogger “Johnny Rook” at his blog, “Johnny Rook’s Climaticide Chronicles, until this morning, … courageous environmental crusader.

Grace Kelly, Running out of time

I grew up knowing that any day could end in nuclear holocaust. Yet it seems even stranger to see the certainty of climaticide marching toward us. It makes the “terrorism” and “communism” scares look like laughable threats. Then a hero comes along, that reminds us that we can act! … So does it take a dying man to teach us to live and to act to save our future?

Tim M, Heresy Snowboarding, Exceptional Climate Blogger Dying, 4 March 2009, “One of the most caring, passionate climate bloggers/environmentalists, is dying.”

California Greening, The passing of the Torch, 6 March 2009

Meteor Blades, Daily Kos, R.I.P. JohnnyRook, 5 March 2009

Two respected writers passed away this week and left behind holes that will be challenging to fill. They presented all of us with the best of what the internet should provide. … these men had a passion for their subject, gave it a sense of importance that may have escaped the rest of us. Both had a reverence for getting the facts right and were often critical of those journalistic efforts that failed to live up to their own standard. We owe it to both to continue that tradition, to speak with passion secure in the knowledge that we too, got the facts right.

It’s no easy matter to write about the passing of someone you’ve come to know and feel is a kindred spirit, even if only via the Internet. It’s all the more difficult when that person was himself so good with words. ,,,

But Steven’s own words said it best:

I understand that such news can depress. At times it depresses me but, more than anything else, it has filled my life with meaning. I have a mission. Before I die, I want to have some sense that this beautiful planet that has provided the context for my life, will have some chance of enduring. I want to die with hope, believing that my teenage son and his children and your children and their children will live in a world that is reasonably hospitable to human beings.

I don’t know how that can happen if people will not face the reality of what is taking place in the world. So, I continue to sound the alarm, even though I know that most of what I write is discounted as alarmist or simply ignored as too uncomfortable to deal with.

Hope becomes reality through action. Obviously Steven taught his son well. Both father and son are examples for the rest of us.

Mofembot, RIP, JohnnyRook, 6 March 09,

I am very sad this morning, having just learned that this past Monday the Earth lost a great champion: Steven Kimball, aka JohnnyRook. After learning that he had acute myeloid leukemia some two years ago, he devoted the rest of his life to providing meticulously-documented evidence of what he called “climaticide.” I encourage people who love and are concerned about the biosphere to read and ponder the information that he spent the last of his energies on.

This followed up on Real life and death in the virtual world, 28 Feb 09

I was in tears earlier today, having learned via A Siegel’s diary … this morning that one of my favorite diarists, JohnnyRook, is not expected to live through the weekend. JohnnyRook has been writing about “climaticide” (his term, as reflected on his website, “The Climaticide Chronicles” at for a while now, and I have found his articles to be well-researched, compelling, superlatively illustrated and documented… and totally scary.

To cry real tears at the thought of someone dying whom I’ve met only through his words and occasional exchanges in the comments may seem overblown to some, but oh, the grief is real. Very, very real.

Exmearden, JohnnyRook, 8 March 2008

JohnnyRook’s Port Townsend is a lovely town cornered on the eastern straits of Juan de Fuca, on Admiralty Inlet, and in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountains on the Olympic Peninsula.

You cannot imagine a lovelier place. It’s a corner of earth to yearn for. …

There’s magic in the summertime dusk in Port Townsend, the receding day saturated in a dusty blueish-purple-coral. At this time of day-night, the spirits return, all spirits return.

A fine place from which an ecologically-minded soul can fight to save the earth, settle and finally, rest.

Leslie Berliant, Celsias, A Farewell to Steven Kimball, 9 March 2009

Steve was one of those writers that other writers envy. His pieces were well researched, impeccably written and always shed some new light on the climate crisis. That’s because for Steve, writing about the climate crisis was a true calling. … We have lost a strong, intelligent and deeply committed voice in the fight to stop Climaticide, but we have also lost a person of true integrity, love and compassion. He will be greatly missed.

Dorothy, West Coast Climate Equity, Sad news: Johnny Rook has flown away, 10 March 2009

I will miss you, Johnny Rook. You were more real and alive to me than most of the people I know.

Your courage gives all of us, with our own lists of troubles, the strength to continue in this great work to save our species and the life on our planet.

By svencahling at MiljöBloggAktuellt, 3 March 09

Det var inte länge sedan jag lade till honom i listan, Johnny Rook´s Climaticide Chronicles, och utan att då uppmärksamma vad Climate Progress nu berättar: att Johnny Rook är svårt sjuk med en aggressiv form av leukemi. Han fortsätter, trots att det är en kamp, att skriva om klimatfrågan, men den 5 februari postade han en uppdaterad version av ett tidigare inlägg på sajten Daily Kos, där han berättar om sjukdomen. I inlägget, som har rubriken ”My doctor doesn’t think I’m going to die today”, skriver Johnny Rook starkt både om sin egen situation, och om världens.

As one last request …

To honor Johnny Rook (nee Steven Kimball), his family has asked for contributions to The Johnny Rook / Steven Kimball fund.

You see, I am running out of time, but so are all of you. It will be such a shame if you do not act, because you still have a chance. Please do not let it slip away, for all your sakes and for mine.

–Johnny Rook, February 5th, 2009

“Johnny Rook” became a notable part of the blogosphere discussion of climate issues in recent years, attempting to raise people’s understanding of the tragic path humanity is on and seeking to spark people toward change to a sustainable path. His home blog, Climaticide Chronicles (, has many posts and discussions worth reading, combining passion, eloquence, and knowledge, and insightful on critical issues.

This is only part of his story. Diagnosed with cancer several years ago, facing near-certain death, Steven Kimball had time for self-retrospection in the hospital. He determined to dedicate his remaining time not to self-centered activities, but to seeking to communicate on what he considered the greatest threat to the potential for his son (and others) to pursue a better life: global warming.

In his last months, one of his most treasured personal items was his pin, which prompted questions and opened the door for him to explain why this is the most important number in the world. Steven Kimball wished, deeply, to join before the US Capitol’s Power Plant on Capitol Climate Action day. Unable to do so, his son journeyed to join thousands of others in the largest civil disobedience action to date on climate actions. Literally from his death bed, Johnny Rook continued to contribute to the discussion of “Climaticide”. And, in one of his last lucid moments before his death, Johnny Rook (ne Steven Kimball) listened as his son held up a phone for his father to heard the impassioned sounds of thousands calling for action to turn the tide on Climaticide’s mounting threats.

Steven Kimball is survived by his loving wife Becci, who cared for him 24/7 for the years of his illness, enabling him to engage so passionately on climate issues, and his son Aleks, who will carry on in the fight for setting a path toward 350.

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Tags: climate change · environmental · Global Warming · journalism

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