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Can music affect social change? There is no doubt that music has the ability to effect us emotionally, make us think and see the world differently and that musicians have the power to change the world for the better with the broad platform they possess in their fan-base.

This week, we highlight one of the many artists who are melding the world of politics with music.

Ottawa born Bruce Cockburn is the winner of 13 Juno Awards, an Officer of the Order of Canada and has more than 30 albums under his belt.

However, he is also a long-time, outspoken advocate for the environment and unafraid to publicly tackle difficult political questions.

He is committed to raising ecological and social awareness; Bruce is the honorary chairperson of Friends of the Earth and a supporter of the Unitarian Service Committee, he performed at a UNICEF concert in Kosovo, and was a spokesperson for the movement to ban land mines.

In 2005 he performed his well-known “If A Tree Falls” at the UN Summit for Climate Control in Montreal.

Indeed, Bruce was one of the earlier mainstream voices to speak about the destruction of our natural resources and he did so with the conviction that he was speaking for many others who shared his concern.

When asked about why he chose his music as the forum from which to encourage others to think about the human connection to our environment, he explained:

“I don’t think music can bring about social change by itself. I think it can be a crystallizing agent for waves of feeling that move through all of us.”

His music delivers a powerful message in a medium we all enjoy. His upcoming tour to promote his new album, Small Source of Comfort, takes him all over the U.S. and Canada so go check Bruce out live at a location near you!

Watch Bruce’s webisode.

My entry into the history of the environmental movement came at a key time in its evolution. The Don’t Make a Wave Committee of Vancouver B.C., had sailed a ship “The Greenpeace” to Amchitka Island near a fault line on the Aleutian Chain in an attempt to stop nuclear testing.

This brave act resonated globally with incredible success.

I was there with the fledgling group to open their first office on Fourth Avenue in Vancouver.

I met; fell in love with and soon married Bob Hunter, the first President and Father of the current day Greenpeace International.

I became the Treasurer of Greenpeace and the first woman to place my body in front of a harpoon to save a whale.

There were many acts of heroism stemming from our small group, one act that still resonates is the image of Bob and Paul Watson (now founder and Captain of Sea Shepherd) standing in front of icebreakers to save the Seals.

At that time, in the early 70s, we were a small band of eager idealists and intellectuals, yet we spun images, of heroism that have effected all the forthcoming generations of environmental crusaders.

Robert, Emily, & Bobbi Hunter

Robert, Emily, & Bobbi Hunter

We used non-violent means to create what Bob called “mind bombs” in the media that changed environmental consciousness of the western hemisphere.

Now, today, I look at the diversity of people and groups of activists, and I am proud that my daughter has this same spirit raging in her soul. I am proud of her brave actions. We don’t have Bob to turn to any longer, but, his passion carries on.

Bob always wondered if he had made a difference. I know he has, because of his inspirational actions and books he has helped mould many of the Eco-Heroes of today, whether they know it or not.

Today I am involved in many legacy projects such as advising on a documentary, a park and a biography, helping to continue to spread our message.

While there is more knowledge and resources available today, there are more battles and more urgency than ever. For the Planet, never give up!

– Bobbi Hunter, Eco-Activist

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, consumption and everyday actions have consequences. Share your story of making the eco-conscious switch in your choices by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

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