The “Ice Bucket Challenge,” a viral-video ploy to raise awareness for ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, has recently popped up all across the internet, prompting everyone to challenge their friends to dump ice water over their heads in lieu of, or in addition to, donating to the research to cure the deadly disease. Around the Missouri border it has gone viral at an exponential pace, prompting action from the city council.
“These people are dumping buckets of ice water on their heads, wasting millions of gallons per day,” Says Sly James, the Mayor of Kansas City. “It was great at first because donations were pouring in to local chapters for research on ALS, but after the first couple of days panic ensued for us representatives.”
James is referring to a serious environmental problem faced by the city in the last few weeks. “People are dumping five gallon buckets, 10 gallon buckets, and heck, even bucket loaders full of water on themselves, which would all be well and good, if we weren’t in the middle of a drought,” says Meteorologist Katie Horner. “We are experiencing one of the worst droughts in years, and wasting all this water when the whole point was to get people donating to a charity is asinine.”
Kansas City alone has lost water due to drought, enough so that more rural portions of the city are going without it, as well as the rest of the city having to ration their water. “Restaurants have shut down, people are not allowed to shower, a family of five is only rationed ten gallons of water every other day,” Says James. “These people need to realize that for all the positivity they are spreading by making ALS known, they are also devastating our ecosystem, which in recent years has become extremely fragile. There is always two sides to the coin.”
With no sign of stopping, people in Missouri have decided to stop using the tap and have gone to lakes and rivers to get their water, with equal detriment to the environment surrounding. “It goes without saying that people in general need to be a part of something,” says anthropologist Robert Layton. “It is unfortunate that in today’s social age they need to grasp on to internet, to notoriety or fame so much that they refuse to see what they are doing to their home town.”
“We had to put out a bulletin banning the ice bucket challenge,” Says James. “We just can’t have people potentially dying for no reason other than to get out of donating money to research. People should just make videos showing them donating. ‘ALS is a big deal, let’s take it out!’ and then fork over $10. That’s what the challenge was supposed to be about. Apparently somewhere along the line, people forgot the ‘donate’ part, and just started wasting water.”
Although the ‘challenge’ has brought in over $1 million more than the ALS foundation would have normally received by this time in years past, representatives for the foundation say that if people actually donated when they did the challenge, they’d have much more.
“Originally the challenge was someone nominates you, and you have 24 hours to either complete the challenge AND donate $10, or you would not complete the challenge at all, and you had to donate $100,” said Marsha Farmington, representative for the ALS foundation. “Yes, we’ve had people donate. Yes, we’ve had people donate more than $100, even. But I have to say, based on how many videos I see in my Facebook feed every day of people dumping buckets over their head, most people who do the challenge remember to film it, they remember to tag friends, and they remember to post it on the internet. The thing they forget is to donate the $10.”