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The Ridiculous “Ice-Bucket Challenge”

While fancy Westerners are pouring clean water on their heads, every 20 seconds a kid is dying because they can’t access proper sanitation, linked in many cases to a lack of clean water. Just let that marinate for a bit. Every 5 gallon bucket of clean drinking water thrown away for a public relations stunt could be 5 gallons of clean drinking water for a kid who may die from unsanitary living conditions and lack of clean water.

Maybe Americans should think of all the budget cuts to the organizations that fund most ALS research, like the National Institutes of Health. It isn’t private funding that will find a cure, it is public. And many of the politicians doing the challenge, voted to slash the NIH’s budget (as well, as other public organizations). But hey, the celebrities, politicians and business folks will avoid paying their taxes, donate money to get a tax deduction and then look like such nice people while they waste precious water.

Or see the woman from Sonora who points out that the Bacanuchi River, which flows into the Sonora River, has been contaminated with nasty chemicals by an environmentally destructive company, Buenavista del Cobre subsidiary of Grupo Mexico. She says that instead of throwing away water why not think of those who do not have the luxury of water to drink. She challenges people to fight for access to water.

Shit, people living in towns affected by fracking do not even have safe water to drink. They can light it on fire and become the disease-ridden corpses of “progress”. The economic logic’s cruelty is on full display when the Mexican Environment and Natural Resources Secretary let’s everyone know that even though fracking fucks up everything, it makes money. So, well screw you and your water.

Furthermore, read Joshua Frank’s piece in this month’s print edition of CounterPunch, “Let’s Stop Calling It a Drought: The Crisis over California’s Water”, so you can find out how California is running out of water. Arizona is to. Fresh water sources are drying up. Groundwater is being overused. This can go on and on.

A thousand and one ways water is being abused. Just watch your clock tick by; because when the bell tolls, it will toll for all of us. Just remember, another couple of children just died from lack of clean water while you read this. But don’t worry; the celebrities, politicians and business folks will throw more buckets of water on their heads.

Andrew Smolski is a writer based in Texas. 

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Andrew Smolski is a writer and sociologist.

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