An Open Letter To EPA Employees

We hope this letter finds you well, though after hearing that Republican Representative Matt Goetz of Florida has actually introduced  a bill to terminate the EPA completely, we imagine some of you are already dusting off your resumes. That’s only kind of a joke, because we think that what’s happening over there is terrifying both for all of you personally and for the rest of the world in general. It’s true we’ve been critical of your efforts in the past, but only because we knew you were capable of superb and selfless work. We’ve always respected your intentions and we continue to believe you are in this fight for the right reasons. We can’t imagine how soul crushing it must be to see your years of work being vaporized almost over night. We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but you know as well as we do this underlines the need for open data on all fronts. As Safecast co-founder Joi Ito’s recent conversation with former President Obama indicates, a lot of people share our vision and are willing to fight for a better future:

JOI & POTUS TALK SAFECAST

We’ll get right to it – while things over there seem more up in the air than ever, here at Safecast we’re reinforcing our foundations and making big plans for the future. Our open database of over 60 million global radiation measurements is the largest in the world, and since it’s been in the public domain since day one it has been saved and replicated and copied extensively all over the world and can never disappear. Our visualizations are best of class and updated every day and a recent real world test of our fixed sensors worked exactly as planned. Our wide-scale deployment of air sensors is imminent. Our process and methods have been peer reviewed and endorsed by everyone that matters, and our data is research quality and rock solid.

With the future of government data threatened as never before, we want to officially extend an invitation. Join us.

If you’ve built your career around collecting and publishing environmental data, for research and for the public, to ensure that the world we have today is in better shape when we pass it on to our children, join us and keep doing it. If you’ve worked to understand our environment and how we as humans continue to impact it, join us and continue these efforts. We believe in high quality data, transparently collected and openly licensed. We believe more data is better, and that people should have free access to reliable, trustworthy data about the world around them.

In a time when facts have to be approved by politicians before publication, we are providing alternatives.

In a time when ignoring scientific data in favor of partisan political opinion has become the norm, we are pushing back.

In a time when government has abandoned its responsibility to the environment, we are the resistance.

We have a distributed global team, and some openings that might be perfect for you. Your efforts would be welcome here. Sound interesting? Get in touch (secure contact options available). We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Love,
Your friends at Safecast

PS – If you don’t work at the EPA but have read this far and want to help out, get in touch or drop us some cash to help us pay someone’s salary.

About the Author

Sean Bonner

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Sean Bonner is a co-founder and Global Director of Safecast. Based in Los Angeles, he's an Associate Researcher at the Center For Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab and a Shuttleworth Fellow.