This Earth Day, Let’s Reclaim the Axe

by J.D. King, April 19, 2013

“No matter if the science is all phony . . . Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

So declared Christian Stewart while serving as the Canadian Minister of the Environment.1

Sound preposterous? Welcome to the modern-day Green Movement. As millions around the world celebrate Earth Day this year, it’s important that we go beyond the slogans and pseudoscience that surround this high holy day of environmentalism and discern the true agenda behind it.

After spending the last three years examining the Green Movement, I am convinced that the primary goal of those driving it is not to “save the earth,” but to conform Western civilization to socialistic ideals.

Green packaging of Red ideas has been in motion for several decades now. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, multimillionaire socialist economist Robert Heilbroner conceded in a September 1990 New Yorker article that his ideological opponent and free market proponent, Ludwig Von Mises, “was right” about the economic failure of socialism.2 Yet Heilbroner, who was not about to give up on his anti-capitalist aims, proceeded to sketch out what he believed to be the only viable strategy for socialists to pursue if they hoped to succeed — environmentalism:

. . . [T]he closing window of environmental tolerance will impose an utterly new condition of caution and constraint on a civilization whose historical thrust has been in just the opposite direction. It is, perhaps, possible that some of the institutions of capitalism . . . may be adapted to that new state of ecological vigilance, but, if so, they must be monitored, regulated, and contained to such a degree that it would be difficult to call the final social order capitalism.3

It’s one thing to read about socialist revolutionaries and their dreams. It’s quite another thing to realize that, to a great extent, their dreams are coming to pass.

Last summer, I interviewed the head of a natural resource extraction company for my forthcoming film, Axed: The End of Green. He is a Christian and told me how the Green Movement has jeopardized his livelihood and how environmental policies are devastating this country. I was thrilled to document his story. But a short time afterward, he sent me an e-mail asking, for the sake of the life of his company, to be deleted from my film project. He went on to explain:

You know where my heart is on these issues. This is the first time I’ve ever had to back out of a contest of any sort, but in this case there is just too much on the line. My action fits, by definition, the struggles of attempting to work in a “fascist” economic system — but that is the hand we’ve been dealt.

What Will Happen on Earth Day, 2013?

Earth Day in 2013 will be marked by anti-Christian propaganda and outright hypocrisy.

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, little children will dress up as animals, plants, and bugs for the “All-Species Parade,” an event designed to propagate the notion that all species have “equal rights” — a far cry from the biblical doctrine of man’s specialness as a creature made in God’s image.4

The clothing other Earth Day activists will wear showcases a fundamental double-mindedness. From Maryland to California, people who hate “big oil” will be dressed with garments made from petroleum by-products.5 Activists who despise industrial development will be fed and quenched by food and water brought to them by oil, gas, and electricity.

The truth is this: Most of the great technologies we enjoy every day — light bulbs, automobiles, food, water, clothing, shelter, cell phones, and electricity — come to us from the raw material and elements God put in the earth. Of course it takes wisdom, diligence, and industry to extract it and turn it into an iPhone, but this is part of the dominion mandate man is uniquely vested with by God and called to exercise.6

Consider how coal power works: We can make light bulbs shine by heating little black rocks. The process is amazing when you think about it. We should therefore be in awe of the God-given capacity we have to turn minerals, rocks, and ore into iPhones!

But on Earth Day, instead of celebrating, we are told to lament.

Recovering the Doctrine of Dominion: America Needs Bold Pioneers

The Bible makes it clear that it is our duty to exercise godly dominion over the earth, subdue it, and be fruitful in the process.7

Charles Spurgeon put it this way: “It is an abominable thing to let the grass grow up to your knees and do nothing towards making it into hay.”8

How contrary this attitude is to that of the modern-day environmentalist. Instead of putting their hands to the plow, today’s “greenies” want to get rid of plows altogether. Earth First! founder Dave Foreman summed up well their plans to retreat from subduing the earth and so mutiny against God and His Word:

We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects. . . . We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land.9

Is Mr. Foreman just a crazed zealot with an extremely bad pipe dream? Since everything described in the paragraph above is currently happening all across America, sadly, the answer is “no.” This is not just crazy talk we’re dealing with. These very ideas are actively being implemented in our nation. Dave calls it “rewilding”;10 the Obama Administration officially terms it “Landscape Conservation Cooperatives,”11 but both are advancing the same ends.

While clean water, clean air, and the wise conservation of resources are worthy goals we should pursue as faithful stewards, “rewilding” is a cowardly ideology that is anti-biblical.12 It runs counter to the worldview from which Western civilization was hewn.

The sturdy pioneers of America’s frontier offer an excellent contrast to today’s milk-toast greenies. Though imperfect, the American pioneer remains a great example of a dominion man — a real man who, with wisdom and bravery, set out to tame the wilderness and make it into something fruitful and productive.

In his work, American Institutions and Their Influence, historian Alexis de Tocqueville offers this description of the American pioneer: “At the extreme borders of the confederate states, upon the confines of society and of the wilderness, a population of bold adventurers have taken up their abode. . . .”13

De Tocqueville goes on to describe this man as a cultural commentator who was “acquainted with the past, curious of the future, and ready for argument upon the present.” He further states that the pioneer, although seemingly “primitive,” was in reality a “highly civilized being” who “penetrates into the wilds of a New World with the Bible, an axe, and a file of newspapers.”14

As environmentalists trumpet their anti-dominion agenda, America would be well served to have a few good men like this today.

Wise men use great tools, and the axe is one of the most fundamental tools of dominion and stewardship available to mankind. Throughout history, the axe has transformed the world by bold adventurers who tamed wildernesses, by Puritan visionaries who founded nations, and even by an Anglo-Saxon missionary, Boniface, who sparked revival in the lives of eighth-century Thor-worshipping pagans by hacking down their sacred oak tree. According to Willibald’s Life of Saint Boniface:

With the advice and counsel of these last, [Boniface] attempted, in the place called Gaesmere, while the servants of God stood by his side, to fell a certain oak of extraordinary size, which is called, by an old name of the pagans, the Oak of Jupiter. And in the strength of his steadfast heart he had cut the lower notch, there was present a great multitude of pagans, who in their souls were earnestly cursing the enemy of their gods. But when the fore side of the tree was notched only a little, suddenly the oak’s vast bulk, driven by a blast from above, crashed to the ground, shivering its crown of branches as it fell; and, as if by the gracious compensation of the Most High, it was also burst into four parts, and four trunks of huge size, equal in length, were seen, unwrought by the brethren who stood by. At this sight the pagans who before had cursed now, on the contrary, believed, and blessed the Lord, and put away their former reviling.15

With the bankrupt worldview of rank socialists and environmental pantheists threatening our culture and livelihoods, it’s time to reclaim the axe.

This Earth Day, let’s do what Boniface did in his time and chop down the lies of the enemy. Let’s build a world where both mankind and creation can flourish under God’s law-order, proclaiming His ultimate triumph with the words of this great hymn:

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.16



1 Stated before the editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald and quoted by Terence Corcoran in “Global Warming: The Real Agenda,” Financial Post, December 26, 1998.

2 Robert Heilbroner, “After Communism,” The New Yorker, September 1990.

3 Ibid.

4 Ann Dwyer, “Leslie Science & Nature Center to host Earth Day Festival 2013,”   April 17, 2013, See Genesis 1:26-27 where God explains that He has made man in His image, describing the unique role he possesses as earth’s caretaker.

5 Polyester and nylon are two common petroleum derivatives routinely found in today’s clothing.

6 Genesis 1:28-30; Psalm 8.

7 Ibid.

8 Charles H. Spurgeon, Sermon #2607, 1899.

9 Recorded in: James Daley (editor), The Book of Green Quotations (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2009), p. 48.



12 Besides how it goes against the Dominion Mandate, and our call to subdue the earth and make it fruitful, “rewilding” almost always involves the infringement of private property rights — theft — by government decree or regulation.

13 Alexis de Tocqueville, American Institutions and Their Influence (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), p. 321.

14 Ibid., pp. 321-322.

15 George W. Robinson (trans.), The Life of Saint Boniface by Willibald (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1916), pp. 62-64.

16 Excerpted from the hymn, “This Is My Father’s World,” by Maltbie D. Babcock. The words were first published in 1901 and were set to music in 1915 by Franklin L. Sheppard.

About the Author

Jeffrey D. King is a filmmaker from Montana who is currently producing Axed: The End of Green, a film that will challenge our culture’s views on the critical environmental issues of our day. His previous documentary, Crying Wolf: Exposing the Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park, was a Jubilee award winner at the 2012 SAICFF.