Conservation news

Audio: Legendary musician Bruce Cockburn on music, activism, and hope

Music has a unique ability to inspire awareness and action about important issues — and we’re excited to welcome a living legend onto the program to discuss that very topic.


Bruce Cockburn, well known for his outspoken support of environmental and humanitarian causes, appears on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast. Cockburn’s multi-decade career has yielded 33 records, including his latest, Bone On Bone. This week, he will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside another outspoken icon, Neil Young.

We spoke with Cockburn about how he came to his ecological worldview and why he wrote iconic songs like “If a Tree Falls” and “If I Had A Rocket Launcher,” as well as similar songs on his new record. We also discuss whether or not Cockburn agrees with what Paul Simon told us when he appeared on the Mongabay Newscast about hope being more inspiring than fear.

Our second guest is Amanda Lollar, founder and president of Bat World Sanctuary, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Texas. Lollar discusses the efforts of a number of dedicated wildlife rehabbers, including staff at Bat World Sanctuary, who took action in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to rescue wild animals in Houston and other impacted areas.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

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Bruce Cockburn performing in Seattle, WA. Photo by Daniel Keebler.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001