Small Source Of Comfort (True North) is the latest LP from legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn. It’s also his 31st studio album in a career that dates back all the way to the mid-’60s. Over the years, Cockburn has become one of his country’s most successful and honored musicians, winning more than his share of awards and accolades, not only for his music but also for his longtime humanitarian work. This week, Cockburn adds MAGNET guest editor to his already impressive resume. Read our brand new Q&A with him.
Cockburn: In the ’70s and ’80s, a lot of us became convinced that we shouldn’t drink tap water. We kept hearing about all the industrial and other pollutants, many of which don’t get caught by municipal treatment systems. It seemed as though bottled water was the way to go. Water from a spring somewhere had to be safer and usually tasted better. I, at least, didn’t suspect back then that we were being manipulated into yet another scheme to exploit our fear and the world’s poor at the same time. The bottled-water industry was setting itself up for windfall profits and a global takeover of fresh water sources.
There were those who saw it coming—as well as the potential for bad chemistry between water and the plastic of its containers. Now it’s become “common knowledge.” Water is the new oil. Commercial interests in the developed world are pushing the old colonial agenda, now through so-called free-trade deals rather than conquest. As with oil, though, conquest is never completely ruled out.
Meanwhile, we now know we spent decades swilling a chemical cocktail of carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Tap water begins to look better! Drink local. Aside from lessening exposure to all that noxious crap, it’s the only way to preserve our unfettered access to water. Surely that is the most basic of human rights.
Video after the jump.