The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Something something bucket pun.

There are a variety of opinions on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

A lot of the opinions on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge make me want to roll my eyes forever. "Dumping water over your head doesn't cure ALS" or "You should do the ice water AND give money" or "[Insert personal fundraising cause] is just as important as ALS" or "People with ALS think the ice bucket challenge is _____" -- the list could literally go on forever because this is a very populous nation.

But the opinion that I am finding the dumbest is the one that insists that Californians should not participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because we are in a terrible drought.

This is a terrible opinion to have. It is true that there are many uses for water other than dumping over your head. It is true that we do not have any excess water in the great state of California. HOWEVER, it is this kind of reasoning about water use in California that keeps us in such dire straits whenever drought conditions worsen. If you're under the impression that the volume of water being used in this challenge is remotely close to the amount of water needed to hydrate California, you are kidding yourself.

The volume of water being "wasted" via the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a drop in the bucket when it comes to California's water usage. I know you know how to Google, but if you're looking for numbers and maps about the drought, visit the State's website on the subject for details. If you really want to conserve water in California, you can follow their tips for reduction in your home and business. Really, though, you should be writing your representatives about reducing agricultural water use in our great state. That's where the waste is happening. Not in ALS fundraising.

Did you know that because of this meme, the ALS Association has raised 13.3 million dollars this summer, as opposed to their usual 1.7? Check it out. The number of individuals, families, and communities whose lives have been forever changed by ALS diagnoses will now be forever changed by the boost in research, equipment, and care that these dollars will supply.

So if you're an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge environmental naysayer, please send some money to the ALS fund of your choice; write your representatives about water use; eat less beef; buy local produce; replace all your grass with native, low-water-use plants; replace your toilets with low-flow models; reduce your shower time; get off your high horse.

[In case you're curious, I was challenged by my dear friend Jocelyn--I chose to forgo the ice water not because I'm a Californian but because I'm a wuss. Donating to fight a disease that has claimed the lives and livelihoods of people I love was fine by me.]

Lost and found and lost and...

Let's talk.