The ALS ice bucket challenge has done a lot of good to raise money for ALS research. But you know what would be really great for ALS research? For everyone who cares about ALS to get on the phone to their Representative and Senators (and I mean actually calling their DC office) and tell them to fund research for ALS.
So far the ice bucket challenge has raised $62.5 million according alsa.org as of Saturday (8-23-14). Great, that is wonderful. Just how much money is that comparatively to some of the other research money the US has spent recently? Take the M1 Abrams tank program. The Army has stated that it does not need any more Abrams tanks, yet congress has repeatedly authorized spending for more of these huge (and expensive) vehicles. According to Fox News (via the associated press) Congress authorized $436 million dollars for tanks in 2013 (roughly 7 times the amount raise by ice buckets.
Think about that. Congress could, with a stroke of a pen, increase research by $436 million for ALS research if people put down their buckets and picked up their phone.
So why the ice buckets? People are in love with the idea of being a part of something. This is not to say that those who have taken the challenge are not ernest in their desire to fund ALS research. However, it does give people a warm fuzzy feeling of being a part of something. If you want to feel warm and fuzzy pet a kitten/puppy. If you want to be part of real change take a part in government. If Congress received phone calls demanding action from the number of people who have dumped ice on themselves something would happen.
Forget about posting a video of yourself and call your Representative and Senators.