What do you spend your money on?


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On April 15, a fire broke out beneath the roof of the historical Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. By the time the fire was extinguished the buildings spire and upper walls were severely damaged. This iconic cathedral has been around since 1163, and people all around the world were heartbroken to watch it go down in flames.

The estimated cost of renovation is yet to be made, however, many people have already donated money. Billionaires from around France pledged millions of dollars in the days after the fire, some pledging money before the fire was even extinguished. In just two days, $1 billion dollars was donated to Notre-Dame.

These donations have received a lot of backlash because that money could have gone towards more important issues in today’s world.

In the Pacific Ocean, there is a patch of garbage that is the size of Texas. According to the Marine Debris Program, when two currents from the ocean meet it creates a gyre. In each gyre, garbage in the ocean gathers and creates a “garbage patch.”

The Pacific garbage patch is causing concern because of its massive size. It would cost in between $122 million and $489 million to hire enough boats to clean the Great Pacific garbage patch for a year. The over $1 billion dollars that have been donated to Notre-Dame could have cleaned the garbage patch for two years, helping the environment greatly and saving marine life.

The Washinton Post wrote that over the past year, homelessness has increased by 21% in Paris. The over $1 billion dollars donated to Notre-Dame could have greatly impacted the homeless population by opening homeless shelters, food banks, and donating to mental health assistance.

These quick donations to rebuild a cathedral leave people wondering why this much attention hasn’t been drawn to things like climate change, Native American sacred lands, historically black Louisiana churches, or development aid for African countries.

The amount of money donated isn’t the topic under fire, but the urgency in which it was donated. Why weren’t people this quick to act upon other disasters and issues? Ones in which more people were harmed or put in danger?