With over 1.2 million videos of people dumping water onto themselves, $22.9 million have been raised for the motor neuron disease known by social media as ALS. The degenerative disease affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
The United States, bound by social media commitment and desire for acceptance, has spent between 2.4 and 5 million gallons of water on expressing a need to stop the fourth most "funded" disease through monetary donations and water waste, as researched by atmospheric scientist Jason Samenow.
A simple equivalent for you is this: the amount of water used on the Ice Bucket Challenge is anywhere between 57,600 and 120,000 baths. I bet most of these ALS supporters did not think twice about skipping their daily bath on their challenge day, or skipped a long warm shower after the freezing thrill of hoping they've made a difference. This blatant abuse of water is unethical.
Water.org reports 783 million people do not have access to clean water each year. In perspective, that is one out of every nine people across the planet. Of those 783 million, 3.4 million people die each year from a water related disease. That's almost the entire city of Los Angeles. So go for it, dump some clean water on yourself using freshwater ice cubes.
In the United States alone, the number one cause of death is heart disease. ALS, on the same rank on the chart put together by VOX using charity donations and CDC death reports, is last. Yes, heart disease receives more annual funding than ALS but it is also responsible for 590,000 deaths annually (as reported by the CDC in 2011). How about the least funded cause of death? Suicide takes nearly 40,000 lives each year in this country and Out of Darkness Overnight Walk receives $3.2 million each year.
(My Personal View) Education stops untimely death by disease. I am educating and promoting a healthier lifestyle with my Jump For The Heart jump ropes I donated for in fourth and fifth grade. I am not giving into this consumerist society by causing the manufacture of more products and I am not wasting water on a cause that is sentencing people around the world to increased inaccessibility to freshwater. I am not donating to the most funded disease, breast cancer, even though it took my mother's life. I am going to responsibly impact my environment and keep my heart healthy so that your millions of tax dollars don't have to pay for my hospital bill.
There is an expression that goes along the lines of "doing more harm than good". As for the moral of this story: stop justifying your wastefulness with charities and tax deductions.
Melanie E Magdalena