Intro to Ground Truth

Ground Truth is a publication documenting our journey to make environmental data free and transparent.

Intro to Ground Truth
Tree seedling with bead of water.

Our mission

Our mission is to make environmental data free and transparent. Ground Truth is a publication documenting our journey.

We started by trying to solve our own problem. As veterans of the tree planting industry, we wanted to produce trees for environmental causes, not just for logging and energy companies. But we realized, outside of industry there’s no publicly available data on tree planting - only grand claims and marketing with no evidence to back them up. We then realized this problem goes beyond reforestation and through the entire environmental field including biology, agriculture, and human health. Thus, it became our mission to make environmental data free and transparent and to share this journey with the world.

The Solution

As the legend Peter Drucker said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Managing the problems of our time requires public accountability and access to data. Greenwashing thrives due to a lack of data transparency. The solution is to make environmental data free and transparent. 

This requires a shift in perspective, demanding that requires all green claims and activity be backed up by publicly available data. Plenty of business and opportunity takes place in the public sphere. Open source projects, publications, public companies, science, and engineering compete openly and profitably in plain view of the public. Even sports! The best players get ahead because the score and stats are transparent.

The next frontier: AI

Like it or not, AI plays a central roll from now on because it can instantly scan public data illuminating our impact, or lack thereof, on the environment. Industrial regulators and venture capital are scrambling to compile green data behind paywalls and privacy laws. For a fee, they promise solutions to environmental queries from their digital gold mines. But data wants to be free. Versions of this same scenario have played over and over throughout history. Libraries, public radio, television, the internet, public information laws, and news sites all won the fight to be free over powerful private interests. Is environmental data the next frontier? Could companies compete to do better in the environmental space rather than with it? 

Our job

Our job is to answer a these question: How can we make all environmental data public? Can environmental claims require data to back it up? How can we put the truth before cat videos, before greenwashing, and even before the experts who keep private data for sale? Can we set a precedent for evidence-based progress?

We are a publication documenting our journey to answer these questions. We create videos and articles, ask questions, and talk to experts. We’re hype men and women for the data scientists, authors, innovators, and practitioners who help make environmental data free. We don’t generate revenue; we're not sponsored and don’t run ads. We don’t have much of a business plan to be honest, because we’re going to figure this out together, with you, in a public forum. Please write, share, comment, and engage. We’re stoked to be on this journey with you ♥️🌲️

3 May 2024

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