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Introduction to SQLAlchemy

SQLAlchemy is one of the most popular object relation mapping tools and a toolkit of SQL that can be used to provide complete flexibility and control of the SQL for the developers. This platform is written in Python and is completely cross-platform software with open-source access released by MIT and licensed by the same. This article will be looking at one of the most popular and open-source frameworks for object-relational mapping for a database named SQLAlchemy, a super tool.

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What is SQLAlchemy?

SQLAlchemy is an ORM tool used for mapping the objects with entities in a database that are tables in the case of a relational database. The mapping of classes can be done to the required database by making use of this tool. This further enhances decoupling between the database and the object model followed while creating the application and at the same time, bring the functionality to store, retrieve and access the data from the database easily. Python developers most profoundly use SQLAlchemy and APIs of SQLAlchemy to learn about the ORM framework and implement the same in their applications.

Why use SQLAlchemy?

One of the most popular reasons for SQLAlchemy is to use ORM, that is, object-relational mapper, which helps form the patterns for data mapping. As a result, the mapping of classes to the database can be made in multiple ways, which is completely open-ended and helps induce the decoupling in the database schema.

SQLAlchemy follows the approach of complimentary oriented where the processes carried out internally are not kept hidden in the name of automation; instead, they are fully exposed and come along with many transparent tools which can be composed. SQLAlchemy’s strategy lies in changing the perception that you will be having of SQL and databases. SQLAlchemy is used by some of the most renowned organizations, including DropBox, Survey Monkey, Reddit, The OpenStack Project, and Yelp.

How to Create the Environment for SQLAlchemy?

We will need to follow certain steps to make use of SQLAlchemy on our system:

Step 1: Installation using pip which is a Python package manager.

You can fire the below command on the command prompt for installation.


Pip install SQLAlchemy


Step 2: Further, there is also an alternative way to install SQLAlchemy using the conda terminal.


conda install -c anaconda SQLAlchemy



Python chúng tôi install


Step 4: The final step is to verify the installation of SQLAlchemy, which can be done by executing the command.


Pip install

This results in the following output, where we can go for checking the version of SQLAlchemy.


SQLAlchemy Web Frameworks 1. Django

Django is one of the oldest available frameworks and provides all the resources required in the web framework. There are views based on class and function in it, and have the functionality to create the templates of the pages. There is no need to go and manipulate SQL as the admin site provided in Django can directly be used to connect to the database. It comes along with a huge set of libraries that can be used for built-in functionalities. It’s a perfect choice if your project is large-scale.

2. Flask

Flask is the micro framework used for web development, and its features include the light weighted framework, user-friendly and easy to get to know, and allows you to code in your style. It is quite opposite in behavior to that of Django. It is often accompanied by views based on functions and comes with native support for Jinja. It also has numerous libraries to assist you in having in-built resources that can simplify your task. It is mostly preferred for medium-scale projects and is mostly used to implement web-focused applications.

3. Sanic

Sanic is the newly developed web framework that is asynchronous in nature and has the benefits of speed of development as well as technicalities. It is used for development in a way that is quite similar to that of the flask. It has the highest speed of all the other frameworks discussed here. Due to its async feature, it proves to be very helpful for scaling up in an easy and effective manner. This web framework is given preference when you want the high-performance web app or in case your application demands the feature of the asynchronous flask version.

SQLAlchemy Resources

If you want to know more about SQLAlchemy and acquire in-depth knowledge about it, then the below-mentioned resources will prove to be of great help.

The official website of SQLAlchemy is this, while for the Wikipedia link, you can refer to this.

The essential books that can provide great clarity for SQLAlchemy include “Essential SQLAlchemy” by Jason Myers and Rick Copeland and “Fluent Python” by Luciano Ramalho.

One more book which is really good for newbies to Python is “Programming for Beginners SQL, which also includes Python” by Byron Francis.


The design of SQLAlchemy is specially done to work along with the implementation of DBAPI and with specific databases as the use of dialects is done for communication between database and DB API implementation.

The dialects of the databases that are supported and included are as mentioned below list:






Microsoft SQL Server


Along with this, you also need to make sure that you have appropriate drivers corresponding to the dialect and DBAPI installed in your system.


SQLAlchemy is the ORM framework used for object-relational mapping and is also considered a toolkit for SQL as it provides complete control and flexibility to the developers of SQL.

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How To Keep Your Virtual Desktop Environment Secure

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) makes it possible for employees to remotely access virtual desktops using any device of their choice. This has made working from home easy for companies. 

That notwithstanding, having employees work from home opens more opportunities for hackers to try and access a company’s systems. Even though virtual desktop environments are more secure than standalone desktops, companies need to be very careful with security and make sure that they have implemented efficient security measures to protect themselves. They can do so by;

Using Encryption

Different companies deal with different kinds of sensitive information such as medical and financial data. It is therefore important for them to make sure that they have encrypted the data to prevent unauthorized access. 

In addition, when transferring the data, they need to ensure that their services have employed an end to end encryption that helps in preventing interception by third parties.

Securing all Platforms


virtual desktop infrastructure

can run multiple operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux at the same time. To ensure that the infrastructure is secure, companies need to implement a security strategy that works with all the platforms installed on the VDI. When choosing a security strategy, they should also ensure that they are choosing one that aligns with their business model. 

Employing Coherent Security Approaches

It is important to note that virtual desktop environments present many points of exploitation by attackers. Some companies think that they have adequate security after securing file servers, disks, and desktops. However, this is not the case.

Companies need to also secure the different endpoint devices used by their partners and employees to access the virtual desktop environment. With this, they will have eliminated any potential loopholes that might be exploited by attackers.

Installing an Antivirus Software

Companies should, therefore, install anti-virus software that has been developed to work with virtual desktop environments to ensure that they are secure. There have been increased reports of

ransomware groups attacking virtual machines

and companies need to be careful.

Implementing the Use of Thin Clients

Not all the users accessing the virtual desktop environment in a company understand the different security strategies that they should observe. Sometimes, they can create loopholes used by attackers to gain access to the VDI without even knowing, or even install applications that might be insecure.

However, you can control the privileges that every user has, the access they have, and the settings they can change. Using thin clients ensures that devices connected to the VDI cannot make changes to any settings permanently and cannot install any insecure applications.

Training Employees

Migrating to virtual desktop environments might mean that some if not all of the employees in a company are working with such an infrastructure for the first time in their lives. Instead of having them learn on their own about what to do or how to start working, it is good practice to ensure that they get adequate

cyber range training


During the training, ensure that a whole section on security is set aside, and enough time is taken to train them on different security measures that they need to observe when accessing the VDI.

Security Consultants

Some companies might lack enough resources to employ experienced security staff. In addition, there are many regulations that companies need to understand and align their virtual desktop environments with. To make sure that they have implemented the right security measures and that they are following the required regulations, they need to consult security experts who can help them when there is any problem.

How To Set Python Environment Variable Pythonpath On Windows?

On Windows, you can set the PYTHONPATH environment variable to specify the directories that Python should search for modules when importing them. Here are several ways to set the PYTHONPATH environment variable on Windows

Set PYTHONPATH using Command Prompt

You can set the PYTHONPATH environment variable using Command Prompt by entering the following command −

$set PYTHONPATH=c:pathtomymodules

This sets the PYTHONPATH environment variable to c:pathtomymodules. To make this change permanent, you need to add it to the system environment variables −

Open the Start menu and search for “Environment Variables”.

Enter PYTHONPATH for the variable name and c:pathtomymodules for the variable value.

Set PYTHONPATH using PowerShell

You can set the PYTHONPATH environment variable using PowerShell by entering the following command −

$env:PYTHONPATH = "c:pathtomymodules"

This sets the PYTHONPATH environment variable to c:pathtomymodules. To make this change permanent, you can add it to your PowerShell profile −

Open PowerShell and enter the following command to open your PowerShell profile −

$notepad $PROFILE

Add the following line to the end of the file −

$env:PYTHONPATH = "c:pathtomymodules"

Save the file and close Notepad.

Set PYTHONPATH using the Windows Environment Variables dialog

You can also set the PYTHONPATH environment variable using the Windows Environment Variables dialog. Here’s how −

Open the Start menu and search for “Environment Variables”.

Enter PYTHONPATH for the variable name and c:pathtomymodules for the variable value.

Set PYTHONPATH using an IDE or editor Set PYTHONPATH using a batch file

You can also create a batch file to set the PYTHONPATH environment variable. Here’s an example −

$@echo off $set PYTHONPATH=c:pathtomymodules $python

This sets the PYTHONPATH environment variable to python modules

To set the PYTHONPATH environment variable using a batch file on Windows, follow these steps −

Open a text editor such as Notepad and create a new file.

Add the following line to the file −

$set PYTHONPATH=pathtoyourpythonmodule.

Replace pathtoyourpythonmodule with the actual path to the folder containing your Python module or package.

Save the file with a .bat extension, for example setpythonpath.bat.

You can now run this batch file to set the PYTHONPATH environment variable. To do so, open a Command Prompt window and navigate to the directory where the batch file is located. Then, type the name of the batch file and press Enter. The PYTHONPATH environment variable will be set for the current Command Prompt session.

If you want to set the PYTHONPATH environment variable permanently, you can add the batch file to your system’s startup folder. To do so, follow these steps −

Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.

Type shell:startup and press Enter.

This will open the startup folder for your user account. Copy the batch file you created earlier into this folder.

The batch file will now run automatically every time you start your computer, setting the PYTHONPATH environment variable for all Command Prompt sessions.

If you want to add multiple paths to your PYTHONPATH environment variable, you can separate them using semicolons (;). For example, if you have two folders containing Python modules or packages, you can set your PYTHONPATH environment variable to include both of them like this −

$set PYTHONPATH=pathtoyourfirstpythonmodule;pathtoyoursecondpythonmodule

This will add both folders to your PYTHONPATH environment variable, allowing Python to find modules or packages located in either of them.

It must be noted that if you have spaces in your path, you will need to enclose the entire path in quotes. For example −

$set PYTHONPATH="C:Program FilesMyPythonModule";"D:Python Projects"

This will add two paths to your PYTHONPATH environment variable, one of which contains a space in the path name.

Once you have set your PYTHONPATH environment variable, you can verify that it has been set correctly by opening a Command Prompt window and typing the following command −


This will display the current value of your PYTHONPATH environment variable. If you see the paths that you set earlier, then your PYTHONPATH environment variable has been set correctly.

To summarise, in this article, we have considered several different ways how the PYTHONPATH environment variable can be set on Windows with code examples

How To Create An Alcohol Policy For Your Office

Some businesses embrace the idea of allowing alcohol in the office to celebrate a big win, facilitate team bonding or offer an attractive perk for employees. Still, there are several serious and practical concerns to consider when your business is mixing work with drinking, such as insurance, legal considerations and cultural fit. That’s why it’s important to develop a thoughtful alcohol policy before you make office happy hours an official perk.

What is an office alcohol policy?

The founding principle of an office alcohol policy is to establish guidelines for responsible drinking in an office setting. If you’re thinking about instituting an office alcohol policy, here are a few points to address:

When the use of alcohol is appropriate on company property.

The importance of drinking responsibly and remaining fit for work.

Whether specific departments or roles, such as employees who operate or drive heavy machinery, are prohibited from drinking at work.  

How do you create an office alcohol policy?

To create an office alcohol policy, start by acknowledging the potential risks of allowing employees to drink while on the job or in the office. Alcohol should be off-limits in any industry where there is a high probability of causing serious injury to oneself or others, such as healthcare, construction and transportation. But even in industries where employees aren’t making life-and-death decisions, consuming alcohol at work can have several repercussions, including absenteeism, increased healthcare costs, injuries or accidents on the job, and damage to equipment or products. 

The impaired judgment that comes from alcohol consumption can also lower productivity, loosen inhibitions and result in inappropriate behavior.

“Employees who become impaired are more likely to say or do things that could lead to claims of a hostile work environment,” said Robert Dominguez, corporate counsel for Ember Education. “We’ve all heard horror stories about things that happen at company holiday parties. Now imagine that scenario every Friday or every day.” 

If, after examining the potential risks, you decide that drinking at the office is worth exploring, follow these steps:

Consider your company culture.

If your employees commonly go out for drinks to celebrate a new deal, unwind at the end of a busy week or entertain clients, you may already have an alcohol-friendly workplace. If this is the case, it makes sense to establish a formal alcohol policy.

Reach out to your employees to see if they are interested in an office alcohol policy or if they would prefer a different employee benefit, such as additional paid time off or the ability to bring pets to the office.

Did You Know?

Allowing employees to bring their pets to the office can help increase productivity by creating a healthy work-life balance. Having pets in the office allows employees to take mental breaks throughout the day to reduce stress, thus enabling them to accomplish more when they resume working.


Regardless of the type of business insurance coverage you have, you might be able to customize your policy to increase your liability coverage should you choose to implement an office alcohol policy.

Develop a written alcohol policy.

Research federal and state laws to determine if your business is required to have a drug and alcohol policy in place. Much like a visitor policy helps to protect your employees, data and guests, an office alcohol policy may help you avoid fines and other penalties for any statute breaches, as well as potential litigation from employees. 

Even if you are not required by law to institute an official policy, developing one is imperative if you are thinking of making alcohol a part of your office offerings. Your policy should explicitly indicate the amount, times and places where it is acceptable to drink, as well as the types of beverages that fall within company guidelines. Some workplaces, for example, allow beer and wine but not hard liquor. Others limit the number of drinks employees can have on a given day. They use tracking methods such as hand stamps, tickets or even an app to keep an eye on how much employees indulge.

The policy should also state the consequences for any infractions or violations. Consequences can include a host of disciplinary actions, termination or even the facilitation of an employee’s enrollment in an alcohol rehabilitation program. Be aware that employees with alcoholism are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); however, ADA rights do not prohibit these employees from being terminated if the situation warrants it. Still, it does mean they cannot be treated more severely for the same conduct or infractions as their co-workers.

How do you implement an office alcohol policy? 

When you’re ready to implement the policy, follow these best practices:

Educate employees about your alcohol policy.

“We incorporate informal rules into onboarding,” said Taylor Toce, president and CEO of Velo IT Group, whose employees have access to a beer-stocked refrigerator. For example, in addition to discussing your policy during new-hire orientations, you should review it with more seasoned employees during annual training. All employees should also be required to read and sign a copy of the company alcoholic beverages guidelines.

Provide transportation.

Have an arrangement with a taxi, car or ride-sharing service so that employees who choose to drink at the office always have easy access to transportation that doesn’t put themselves or others in danger.

Don’t make it all about alcohol, and always make drinking optional.

Companies can temper the availability of alcoholic drinks in the office by providing a range of snacks and a variety of nonalcoholic beverages. This helps to ensure that employees who can’t drink or choose not to for personal, health or religious reasons don’t feel excluded, which would defeat the original purpose of allowing employees to drink: increased opportunities for bonding and camaraderie.

To avoid any perception of coercion, management should communicate that there is no expectation to drink. It’s also important to be aware that an environment where alcohol is present can be triggering for people who are recovering from addiction. Senior management should be ready to step in and support employees who may find this type of work environment challenging.

Offer access to an employee assistance program.

Your entire staff can benefit from access to an employee assistance program (EAP) that helps employees deal with difficult or challenging life situations, including dependent care and mental health issues. Moreover, an EAP can provide access to counseling, assessments and treatment referrals for employees who struggle with substance abuse.

Establishing this type of resource is the responsible action for any company that makes alcohol part of its culture, but it also makes sense from a fiscal perspective. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol and drug treatment is a worthy investment that pays for itself in reduced healthcare costs that begin as soon as people enter recovery.

Remember that moderation is key.

Ultimately, the goal is to arrive at a happy medium where employees enjoy their fair share of freedom while the company protects the integrity of its work and reputation. 

As workplaces become less rigid and find new ways to attract talent, more employees may kick off the weekend early with a few drinks in the office lounge or celebrate a new account with some beer or Champagne. As long as the drinking does not overshadow the work, it may become a standard employee perk at certain organizations. 

“A little imbibing makes for a happier team, improves overall morale and fosters internal connections by giving employees a chance to bond,” Toce said.

What are the pros and cons of an office alcohol policy? Pros of an office alcohol policy

It can incentivize employees to perform better and may improve creative problem-solving. Instituting an office alcohol policy as an employee benefit helps make your workers feel appreciated, which is a win-win situation: When your employees feel valued, they’re more inclined to stay loyal to the company, and that loyalty can boost productivity and overall performance levels. Another pro of allowing your employees to drink in the office is that it may improve creative problem-solving. A study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition found that slightly intoxicated people solved problems more creatively than people who hadn’t consumed any alcohol.

It can foster strong employee connections. The primary goal of instituting an office alcohol policy is to help employees connect and develop more lasting relationships with one another. By having alcohol available in the office, employees may feel more encouraged to socialize with co-workers they otherwise might not have met.

It can attract talent. When you’re trying to attract new talent to the business, listing in-office drinking as one of the employee benefits you offer may stand out as a unique perk.

Cons of an office alcohol policy

It could compromise people’s addiction recovery and possibly cause other employees to develop a drinking problem. The office can sometimes be considered a safe zone for people who are recovering from addiction. Establishing an office alcohol policy could compromise the sobriety of those employees. It could also set employees down the path to developing a drinking problem if they become dependent on drinking at work, especially if they develop a habit of turning to alcohol when facing a workplace problem or challenge.

It could make those who don’t drink feel excluded. As mentioned earlier, allowing drinking in the office may alienate employees who do not drink. This unintentional exclusion can lead to uncomfortable personal conversations about why someone isn’t drinking or, worse, peer-pressure scenarios that may devolve into bullying.

It could increase the chance of sexual harassment, and you’d be liable for any legal repercussions. When inhibitions are lowered, the risk of sexual harassment occurring increases with every drink consumed. If an employee were to press charges against a co-worker for assault or if an employee were to get into a car crash after drinking at the office, the company could be held partially or entirely responsible.

How does an office alcohol policy apply to remote employees?

If you’re developing an office alcohol policy for your business, you’ll need to consider how it will apply to employees who work remotely. It may seem like common sense to extend the same policy to your remote employees, but there are some additional considerations to keep in mind. 

Whereas you can closely monitor in-house employees’ drink consumption, it’s almost impossible to do so for remote employees. Given a Centers for Disease Control report showing a spike in substance abuse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an office alcohol policy might exacerbate the problem. Another study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that nearly 9 million U.S. workers use alcohol during the workday. Discovering that your remote employees are abusing your office alcohol policy could lead to substantial liabilities for your business.


Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2023, one-third of employees admitted to using drugs or alcohol while working from home, according to the American Addiction Centers.

If you’re looking to create an office alcohol policy for your business, consider taking the following actions to ensure your remote workers don’t feel excluded but aren’t tempted to abuse the policy:

Send frequent reminders to your entire staff about the consequences of abusing the office alcohol policy. While you may welcome occasional drinking at work, your office alcohol policy should outline specific instances in which drinking at work is inappropriate and the consequences of abusing the policy.

Develop comprehensive drug and alcohol training. If you’re planning to allow your employees to drink at work, you should also develop comprehensive drug and alcohol training. The training assessment should cover the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on the body, the risks such behavior poses to the organization, and ways for employees and management to spot and address the warning signs of substance abuse.

Share available resources, such as your employee assistance program, with your employees, and encourage them to prioritize their mental health. In addition to creating an EAP for your staff, share other resources for substance abuse and addiction, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national hotline (1-800-662-4357) and a list of reputable treatment centers.

Paula Fernandes contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.

How To Create A Top

If you want to make your property management business prosperous, you probably need a relevant innovative mobile app. Such a tool will help you enhance communication with potential clients, investors, and business partners. In brief, property management requires regular interaction with property owners, renters, and employees to keep everyone informed, build an engaged client base, and guarantee a future increase in a popular industry. So, we believe you will like some tips we are going to share with you about property management software development services. Just keep on reading!

What is Software for Property Management?

Property Management System (PMS) is software that computerizes and facilitates vital property management business actions for property managers, owners, and agents. There are tons of necessary business operations, like communication between property sellers and clients, finance transactions, document work, and more.

The needs of the market for this kind of system are strictly tied to the real estate niche as a whole. As an alternative, the real estate management sphere does not follow the same way as the real estate market. For sure, it has its own style and perspectives. For instance, the property management business is generally more resilient to changes in the economy.

The best real estate management software manages leased properties, manages tenants, creates financial statements, and synchronizes and reconciles bank accounts for investors in leased properties and property managers.

Also read:

Top 7 Industrial Robotics Companies in the world

Types of Property Management Software

A property management app will be ideal if you manage residential complexes or multiple properties across multiple locations. Yet, the coolness of an application will be established by the application type you pick out for your business. You can communicate with a great number of renters and keep your eye on all financial transactions and important documents with the right user-friendly app.

Or in other words, the best property management software organizes rental properties, controls renters, generates financial reports, and syncs and reconciles bank accounts for rental property investors and property managers.

With property management systems, they can do the following:

reduce the time spent on maintaining the property to be completed;

personalize your online reporting;

collect rental information;

collect rent payments;

online rent increases according to the established schedule.

Offices, warehouses, logistics facilities, and industrial facilities fulfill important roles such as:

object content management;

space management;

rental management.

As well, as Inoxoft notices, property management software is used by hotels and hostels to:

book rooms;

payment of bills;

rooms to be allocated;

check-in and check-out of visitors;

check room availability.

Benefits of Property Management

The property management industry is still relatively new but has a lot of potentials. Consider the benefits of creating a property management system:

Managing multiple properties is likely one of the most forceful grounds for property owners to consider installing a PMS. Such software eases a variety of important processes. The owner portal has all the things you need. Asset management software speeds up a company’s workflow by rubbing out the need for extra solutions. This improves the whole management efficiency and much more.

You can cover every conceivable channel for the provision of rental or hotel services with a unique property management system.

You can combine your methods with chatbots or online assistants to provide superior service to your guests anytime and anywhere.

The Best Way to Organize Property Managers

Generally, property managers have an incident plan. It is like a win-win strategy that will save any situation and bring positive results. Even in times of crisis, having a strategy gives a guarantee that everything will be okay and even better. Real estate managers have a clear idea of what is best for outsourcing. They know their strengths and weaknesses and have competent employees who are always in touch. With too many printed reports and documents, a property management business can quickly become disorganized. It also takes a lot more effort to keep everything in order.

Summing It Up

Searching for a home on the Internet is more capable than counting on a real estate agent who is only interested in raising their profit and does not understand what you require from your house. With the abundance of real estate websites and apps available, it can be difficult to decide where to start.

Without a doubt, property management software development services by Inoxoft will be useful for you if you want to avoid difficulties. They know how to make a customer happy. Their goal is to reduce the hassle and hassle associated with managing one or more properties. They will accurately plan and structure the diverse scenarios that may arise in order to prevent any problems. So, make your choice!

For Years, Chile Exploited Its Environment To Grow. Now It’s Trying To Save It.

In August and September of 2023, hundreds of people in and around the central Chilean region of Quintero-Puchuncavi were hospitalized with symptoms of toxic gas poisoning. The two towns lie within a four-mile radius of 17 heavy industries, including copper smelting and refining, a coal-powered electricity generating plant, and an oil terminal. Today, 50,000 or so residents report dealing with chronic headaches and nausea, even when clouds of toxic gas aren’t escaping from the facilities.

Quintero-Puchuncavi is the most well-known of Chile’s five “zonas de sacrificio medioambiental,” or environmental sacrifice zones. In these areas, a concentration of historically unregulated industrial operations have resulted in negative health outcomes for the 200,000 people currently living in the affected regions, as well as damage to natural resources like water.

“The point was never to ruin these areas, or the quality of life of the people who live in them,” explains Fernando Coz, the director of the Chilean environmental nonprofit Lagos Limpios and environment and sustainability coordinator at University of California, Davis Chile. “In the ‘60s and ‘70s, the focus was on economic policy to produce jobs and move the country forward by driving development in certain zones. There was no consideration for the environment.”

In the decades since, the world has become more aware of the connection between extractive industries and environmental degradation, climate change, and frustration with social inequality. These issues are exemplified by sacrifice zones, which are regions and communities across the planet that suffer disproportionate harms from toxic pollution and heavy industrial activity. (New Orleans’ Cancer Alley fits the mold here in the US.) Now, Chile is in the process of replacing its constitution with a doctrine that could put an end to sacrifice zones and their misuse.

How this constitutional convention prioritizes climate and the environment will not just impact the 200,000 Chileans living in sacrifice zones, but the trajectory of the entire renewable energy transition, which will require a lot of lithium and copper, both of which the country has in abundance. Also at stake is the biodiversity across its many ecosystems.

[Related on PopSci+: The race to close the EV battery recycling loop]

Chile is as rich in diverse environments as it is valuable resources, including the rugged peaks of Patagonia, the world’s driest desert called the Atacama, old-growth forest, glaciers, and miles of coastline. But for much of its history, the Latin American power has struggled to steward its natural environments while capitalizing on them for economic development. The sacrifice zones mark one of the most extreme examples of that imbalance. 

Chile’s five sacrifice zones date back to before the current constitution, which was written in 1980 under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The first industrial facility in Quintero-Puchuncavi was built by the national oil company ENAP in 1954. 

Since then, “environmental policy and regulation have been running behind, trying to catch up with development,” Coz explains. The wealth generated from mining, chemical processing, and other extractive industries helped grow Chile’s GDP rapidly. Today, the country exports nearly a third of the world’s copper, more than any other nation. It’s the leading producer of rare minerals like rhenium, iodine, and potassium nitrate; plus, 50 percent of the planet’s lithium lies within Chile’s borders, although it only produces 23 percent of the supply bought and sold around the world each year. 

The byproduct of extracting and selling those minerals—and the corresponding economic growth—has polluted soil and waterways, poisoned air, and caused illness and death in communities where corporations had free reign. 

In the last few years, however, it’s started to seem like regulation might be able to catch up to industry. The environmental injustices in the sacrifice zones, and the social inequities caused by them, has pushed the country to consider new constitutional protections for nature. As global demand for Chile’s resources grows, how it will be regulated is the subject of contentious debate. 

[Related: What would America be like without the EPA?]

The first proposed revised constitution made the environment central in policy and the government’s decision-making, but was rejected by the people in a popular vote in early September. But sustainability experts like Coz see other avenues to making Chile’s future cleaner and more livable for its residents. After all, the constitution that’s been used for decades (with some revisions) explicitly gives people the right to a pollution-free environment. Over time, the nation’s leaders prioritized privatization and deregulation, showing that written law only goes as far as it’s enacted.

Coz is optimistic that change—and balance—is possible in his country, despite the recent downvote on the constitutional amendments. He points to the many environmental goals the federal government has already set, including transitioning to renewable energy and conserving endangered species. Just last year, it passed a new law protecting urban wetlands from development. “There has been a culture shift,” Coz says. ”Communities and citizens are saying that the environment needs to be a priority.”

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