What is a sacrifice zone?

March 12, 2019
A sacrifice zone or sacrifice area is a geographic area that has been permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment. It can be a specific area suffering from terrible housing conditions that cause numerous health issues, farmers exposed to chemicals each day and neighborhoods positioned right next to toxic plants or landfills. ⁣
Fossil fuels require what journalist Naomi Klein calls “sacrifice zones” – places and communities damaged or destroyed by fossil fuel drilling and mining. Politicians and other decision-makers tend to overlook these harms and injustices and most people are generally unaware of these issues.⁣⁣
The environmental justice movement encompasses the grassroots struggles of residents of “sacrifice zones”: low-income and racialized communities shouldering more than their fair share of environmental harms related to pollution, contamination, toxic waste, and heavy industry (Dayna Nadine Scott and Adrian A. Smith, 2017). ⁣
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