The dark cloud CORONA VIRUS known as COVID 19 has been hovering the earth causing miseries, sufferings and inconveniences to the entire world population. On the brighter side planet-EARTH is regaining its CARRYING CAPACITY. As per the Global Footprint Network calculations, planet-EARTH, surrounded by bio-sphere, is ecologically-overshot and overloaded 1.7 times its regenerative capacity. Increasing emissions lower the CARRYING CAPACITY. Ecological Footprint caused by humanity should balance with the bio-capacity of earth and if not climate starts changing due to excess emissions. If the man is irresponsible NATURE will step in to discipline.

When climate changes micro-organisms which support our biosphere will get extinct and new micro-organisms conducive to the changing climate will evolve. Some of these may be highly contagious causing threat to life and livelihood. The occurrence of COVID 19 can be considered as one such incident. In this innovative world, vaccines may be developed sooner, but as far as climate change is not contained similar instances can be repeated with new pathogens, debilitating humanity.

Having overshot by 1.7 times the capacity it is a herculean task to bring back earth’s past natural-glory and the ecosystem services rendered to humanity. As per the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report 2005, those services rendered are providing services, supporting services, regulating services and cultural services. But on a phased manner we can bring back the natural-glory of planet earth and biosphere in terms of its Carrying Capacity. At the same time, humanity’s genuine aspirations are also to be met and it is a quintessential requirement to continue his race.

In the present COVID 19 scenario along with planet earth, its custodian HUMANS are also regaining his CARRYING CAPACITY by avoiding wasteful expenditure, junk food habits and sedentary lifestyles. To gain immunity against COVID 19 he practices regular and mindful body exercises, consumes nutrient-rich items, practices cleanliness, maintains cordial relationships and indulges in philanthropic activities. When COVID permits survival, of the fittest, those have been losing their lives due to unscrupulous administration engineered by the man with myopic interests.

Our administrative legacies are also getting adapted to new systems where transparency and accountability are in-built. RIGHTEOUS Officials will regain their lost voice and they prosper. Rightful Environmental Management Systems, block-chain enabled accounting systems, online conference platforms etc will be indispensable protocols for survival in the post-COVID scenario which guarantee administrative efficiency.

Even though business equilibrium is temporarily disrupted it will soon regain its new equilibrium in which climate-friendly ventures will prosper, while others will soon be eliminated. New business innovations bloom up in which human wellness and livelihood with lesser ecological footprint are guiding factors. Human development-oriented consumption patterns will be established where EE&CC theories shall have a major role in a direct/subtle way. Health&well being, education&Skill development, ethical businesses & profitability, ethical partaking of profits and resources, etc shall become the rule of the land and humanity.

If EE&CC theories are directly applied the correct protocols and policies could be evolved for the future world and the said theories have applications from the individual level to the global level. Both horizontal and vertical sustainability (both inter and intra-generational) would be taken care of, leading to a better earth and mankind and it should be the guiding template for prioritising projects in smart cities movement across the world.

Dr May Mathew

Author Trustee

Infographics prepared by Ms Shivanshi Trivedi, Civil Engineering Graduate Intern in CEE



Centre for Environmental Efficiency

Public trust dedicated to bring the environment and development hand in hand through environmental efficiency and carrying capacity theories. By Dr May Mathew