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AuthorTopic: Climate Considered Especially in Relation to Man 1908/1918  (Read 6323 times)

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Offline PrometheusTopic starter

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Re: Climate Considered Especially in Relation to Man 1908/1918
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2022, 06:59:53 PM »

But two years after the economie upheaval—seeing all the
Western nations preoccupied with their own domestic troubles
which had ridden in with the heat beginning late in 1929—the
Japanese considered the time ripe for further expansion. This
time they took over the whole of Manchuria, with a watchful
eye on the reaction of Europe and America. America was for
prompt and positive action, but not so with France and Britain.
Quick to take advantage of their uncertainty, Japan procceded
to overrun province after province in‘China. She met little
real opposition from the Chinese until she began an invasion
of the Yangtze Valley. There she encountered people much more
energized by. the storms sweeping down from the highlands of
Tibet. By hard fighting she finally conquered the lower and
middle Yangtze Valley, but beyond that she was been unable
to go.

By driving the Chinese westward up into the highlands of the
interior, Japan has probably performed a great service for her
enemy. The Chinese army and tens of millions of the most
Progressive inhabitants of the Coastal cities have thus been
pushed back into a much more invigorating climate. The
Chinese are a tenacious, ingenious people and, under the
stimulus of Chungking’s climate, are rapidly developing the

155
  resources of that upland region. Much of the country’s under-
ground wealth lies there still untouched. Perhaps China will
become awakened for another golden age by this forced migration
of her most intelligent and capable people into the more ener-
gizing interior.

Here the hand of temperature is affecting the course of history
still in the making. Instead of ruining China by overrunning
her rich Coastal provinces, Japan may instead have provided
just the stimulus needed for the Chinese to lift themselves out
of their long period of apathy. Perhaps it would be wise for the
Chinese to keep Chungking as their permanent Capital and
continue with the development of that rich, more stimulating
upland region.

This factor may play an important role in the future, for the
stronger China becomes the stronger will be the general position
of all the other United Nations. Meanwhile, Japan is still riding
the wave of her 1899-1914 period of energizing lower-than-
normal temperatures. Her rapid progress from Thailand through
Malaya, her conquest of Singapore, her successful invasion of
the Dutch East Indies, and her drive through Burma toward
India have all been examples of an impelling energy which was
at least initiated by great changes in the surroundings of the
Oriental island. That brief period of subnormal temperatures
also had an indirect effect all over the world, for Japan’s seizure
of Manchuria, without effective challenge from the West, con-
vinced her that the time was ripe for a New Order in Asia; it
also demonstrated to the Western dictator nations that they
could go ahead with their own empire-building plans.

Not long afterward Mussolini began trying to mould the
destinies of Italy by adding Ethiopia to his African empire.
Forces even greater th&n II Duce had been taking a hand in
moulding Italy’s destiny for many years; for her long fight for
freedom from the Austrian yoke took place during the period
from 1845 t0 ïÖ6ï, when temperatures at Rome were above
average for not a single one of the seventeen years. The situation
has been quite different in more recent times, however, for
uninterrupted warmth since 1921 has kept the Italian people
pliant under the hand of their dictator. Mussolini’s dream of a
great Mediterranean and African empire has been quickly
shattered by the blows of armies from more invigorating climates.
He lost not only Ethiopia but Eritrea, Italian Somaliland,
and parts of Libya as well, and only the intervention of Nazi
divisions under General Rommel prevented a total rout in the
latter country. Never in modem times have the people of tropical

156
  or subtropical climates been able successfully to oppose the
might of more favoured nations.

Soon after Japan had revealed the weakness of the West by
her successful conquest of Manchurid^ the Nazis began arming
for conquest. As the world warmth abated somewhat in 1936
and 1937, the Germans became more aggressive in their ex-
pansion and soon began their forcible absorption of the smaller
surrounding States. The Saar Basin, Austria, and Czechoslovakia
were taken over with only verbal 'protests from the more demo-
cratie Powers. With the seizure of Danzig and the invasion of
Poland, however, France and England finally came to a reluc-
tant decision and declared war. The rigours of actual fighting
now found the Germans well prepared and with vigorous
striking power; France and Italy lay more or less supine, the
British on the defensive. Little obstruction was offered to the
Nazi conquest of the Continent until they turned to eliminate
the Russian forces. Now those two mammoths of the north
are locked in the bloodiest and most destructive war of all
time.

Subjugation of the German war machine, with its complete
dominance of the resources of Europe, will be a difficult task
for the United Nations unless Nazi strength can be sufficiently
drained in the Russian conflict. In any event, it will take a
powerful coalition to crush Germany and prevent her from
attaining that dominant position in world affairs which may be
due—climatically speaking—as earth temperatures proceed
with their long upthrust and the time approaches for another
northward shift in European power.

The Germans came very close to winning their place in the
sun during the first World War, for then as now they possessed
a most vigorous fighting prowess. It may have been temperature
which foiled that first bid for world power, for unseasonable
warmth prevailed throughout Central Europe from June of 1917
to July of 1918. Temperatures in France and England remained
close to normal levels for the period, while that winter in America
was the coldest on record for a half-century. The American
forces surviving influenza and pneumonia in our training camps
during that winter reached the European fighting front the
following spring and summer with an exuberance of energy
which quickly smashed through the tired battle lines to victory.
It can never be known just how much the year of unseasonable
warmth had to do with the crumbling morale of the Central
Powers in the late summer of 1918, or the Western cold with the
final victorious push of the Allied armies. Too many other

157
  factors were at work to make an essay of this one temperature
element anything more than a guess.

Truly democratie government has lost much of its repre-
sentative nature through *the recent period of rise in autocratie
dictatorships. Only in the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian
countries has the parliamentary form continued to function;
and in most of these there has been a strong shift toward group *
rule, with Labour climbing into the seat of power. The regimen-
tation needed in the long fight ahead against Nazi Germany
will lead us still further along the road to autocracy. Wealth
accumulated through past centuries of expansion is now being
rapidly dissipated on the fields of battle, so the present destruc-
tive struggle may greatly accelerate any downhill trend which
lies ahead.

CHAPTER 20

CLIMATE AND WORLD WAR

Forces beyond human control continue their
irresistible course to-day just as they did through past centuries
of racial history. In the mighty upheaval now going on, any
country which expects to come out on top must give careful
consideration to the effect s these outside influences have on the
health and fighting vigour of its men. War must now be waged
under unique and oftendangerous environmental conditions. New
disease problems are raised, especially in the tropics where the
warmth so enervating to human beings is favourable to the
growth of genus and parasites.

Recognition is being given to these disease problems by the
present active search for new anti-malarial drugs to replace the
quinine formerly obtained from the East Indies and Malaya.
The most recent annual report of the Rockefeller Foundation
tells of the production in its laboratories of 4,000,000 doses of
yellow-fever vaccine for use by United Nations armies engaged
in tropical warfare. Added to the threats from the swarming
disease germs in tropical heat is the discovery—mentioned in
Chapter 2—that the bacteria-fighting white cells in the blood

158
  become sluggish and ineffective in hot surroundings. There is
need for intensive and co-ordinated study of what tropical heat
means to man, as well as for further studies into better methods
of handling the infectious agents themselves.

A strong connection exists between vitamins and suscepti-
bility to disease, for people deprived of their normal require-
ments are likely to contract maladies they would never have had
otherwise. There has been much discussion in scientific circies
about the enforced vitamin^starvation of entire populations in
the occupied countries of Europe. Well aware of the vital signi-
ficance of an adequate vitamin intake, the Germans have been
very careful to keep their armed forces and home workers as
well fed as possible. Their first act in a newly occupied country
is to strip it of vitamin-rich foodstuffs, particularly the cereal
grains and animal products which carry most of the B vitamin
supply. The result has been a severe and almost universal
underfeeding of home populations in the occupied lands. More
devastating than the simple food scarcity, however, has been
the vitamin starvation resulting from this German policy.
Many scientists have professed to see in this an intentional effort
by the Germans to weaken the morale, as well as the physical
condition, of the subjugated people and thus to lessen the likeli-
hood of vigorous revolt against the German rule.

Any such vitamin starvation policy is a two-edged sword,
however, for it will mean a markcd lowering in disease resistance.
Tuberculosis, typhus, and a host of other deadly infections will
spring up over the Continent if any such policy is long continued.
Certainly no wise nation would wish this type of disease wall
around its borders or among the people with whom it must
come into intimate contact during future decades. The present
epidemie of typhus raging in parts of Europe may be one of the
first fruits of this German policy. It is hitting most severely in
occupied Poland where the people have been forced into crowded
ghettos in semi-starving condition. Mere concrete walls thrown
around these pest areas failed to keep the disease within bounds,
for now it is spreading rapidly throughout that section of the
continent. Years of similar semi-starvation in Spain gave rise
during the past winter to an epidemie severe enough to prevent
the German forces from using this pathway to African battle-
fields. Disease is a severe and ruthless tyrant, and any people
who knowingly allow it to gain such mastery should prepare to
pay a terrible price for the devastation it will bring.

It is well known that even under normal conditions people
need higher-caiorie foods during extremely cold weather, when

159
  the body has natural difficulties maintaining intemal tem-
peratures at the optimum level. American troops in Newfound-
land, Iceland, and increasingly important Alaskan bases require
up to 10,000 calories a day, as contrasted to the average sedentary
worker’s Standard of 2,500 calories. Men in these important
and frigid outposts receive one-third more bacon, and other
fatty meats, as well as 20 per cent. more vegetables. Some
nutritionists doubt whether it is physically possible for men to
eat more than 5,000 calories a day for any continued period.
Some years ago, however, six young American physicians
consumed 6,000 calories daüy for 3 months without trouble or
difficulty—and they were leading a relatively inactive and
sheltered hospital existence at the time. I recall one obese
patiënt whose gluttonous appetite was causing him to ingest
6,500 calories a day, even though he was engaged in almost no
physical activity.

Supplying food to tropical armies presents other peculiar
problems of immediate importance to the welfare of the men.
Although soldiers eat less in the heat, they need food much
richer in the B vitamins to meet their higher requirement. Meats
usually supply the larger part of the needed B vitamins, but
tropical meats are deficiënt in them, so commissary departments
must see that vitamin-rich meats are shipped from temperate
climates.

Fighting men everywhere, but especially in the tropics, need
all the energy they can get from the food they eat. Plenty of
exercise helps to keep vitality high if the diet is adequate. It is
probably safer to give the men in tropical service supplementary
supplies of the B vitamins, however, even though most of their
animal products be shipped from good growing lands. A crude
liver extract or brewer’s yeast is probably the most practical
and concentrated source for daily use. In them, both known and
unknown B fractions are present in fairly well-balanced pro-
portions. Tablets of the purified or synthetic vitamins sometimes
lack sufficiënt quantities of the unknown fractions which
now seem even more essential than thiamin for hot-weather
existence.

There have been definite suggestions that over-dósage with the
purified vitamins can produce toxicity more readily in tropical
heat, even though the requirement is higher than in cool climates.
This is also true of some of the body hormones (intemal secre-
tions). Tropical residents tolerate thyroid extract and insulin
poorly, for very small doses of these two products have been
known to kill tropical patients. Some years ago I reported the

160
  tendency of patients in the severe summer heat of Peking to go
into fatal insulin shock from doses considered insignificantly
small in the northem United States. It is safer, therefore, to
provide the vitamins in some crude natural form rather than in
synthetic tablets when giving them routinely to people without
careful watch of each individual. A person is quite unlikely to
take too much yeast or liver extract.

I suppose this talk regarding the value of brewer’s yeast will
lead someone to suggest the advisability of beer-drinking.
Since the yeast grew in beer, why should’t it too be rich in the
vitamins? Perhaps it should be, but it isn’t. Beers and wines
contain practically no vitamins. It is only when the yeast cells
have been digested or broken down that they liberate their
stores of these materials. On that account it would probably
be best to admininster yeast in a slightly cooked form rather than
to give it raw. Boiled for just a few minutes with a quick-thicken-
ing breakfast cereal, it provides a dish which might serve a very
useful purpose in either tropical heat or temperate coolness.
Two of the best cereals for this purpose are oatmeal and wheat
hearts. Both are already rich in the B vitamins as well as in
actual food value. Wheat hearts usually sell as stock food at a
small fraction of the price people pay for less valuable packaged
breakfast foods.

The suggestion of mixing dried yeast with peanut butter and
regular butter as a table spread would also be readily applicable
for use with armed forces in tropical countries. The yeast taste
is thus largely masked by the peanut butter, which is itself also
rich in the B vitamins. Two ounces a day of such a mixture would
cover the extra B requirement in any climate. So also would
a tablespoonful of concentrated liver extract taken twice a
day.

Vitamin requirements are indirectly affected by clipiate, but
the atmospheric surroundings exert another important, less
publicized, and more direct effect on human beings. Never
before in all history have large masses of men been shifted so
abruptly and in such numbers from one climatic extreme to
another as to-day. Japanese troops have fought from the severe
cold of northem Manchuria to the steaming jungles of Malaya
and the East Indies. Germans have engaged in disastrous
efforts on the frigid plains of Russia as well as on the Sahara
sands of Africa. Our own American troops have been scattered
from the polar cold of Iceland to Philippine heat. Fighting
forces of the British Empire are facing almost every conceivable
climatic condition. Quite aside from germ threats, there must

Fcmm   161
  also be faced the marked disturbances in body physiology
describëd in these pages, as men shift suddenly from heat to
cold or vice versa.

Fortunately, most of the troops going by ocean convoy to
tropical stations in the Far Eastem fields are subjected to
several weeks of mild tropical warmth on shipboard. They are
thus partially acclimated before they land in the severe lowland
heat of those regions. They should be given regular and
vigorous exercise during the warm ocean voyage to prepare
them for the greater difficulties in heat loss they will face on
landing. German troops destined for African service were said
to have been given daily exercise in heated rooms for weeks or
months before leaving for the front. Long preparation would
not be so beneficial, however, as more intensive* training for
the two-to-four weeks immediately preceding landing in tropical
heat.

Real difficulties are faced by men from stimulating climates
who land in such lowland heat without the benefit of previous
adaptation. These difficulties are greatest for those arriving by
air, for their descent into the surface heat is most abrupt.
Frequent change from severe surface heat to the cold of upper
air puts great stress upon flying personnel engaged in tropical
service. Wherever possible, they should be provided with cooled
ground quarters. They need the active, vigorous metabolism
most readily maintained in cool surroundings.

Just before the outbreak of war with Japan a high-ranking
naval officer, invalided home from Manila, came to me with
a very typical story of troubles arising from too sudden entrance
into tropical heat. He had been on a tour of duty at ports in
the northern United States when he was suddenly called for
a Manila assignment of great responsibility. Leaving his post
in Oregop, he went directly to Manila by clipper plane. He had
previously had many years of tropical service, but most of this
time had been spent at sea where the heat is less severe.
This time he landed directly in the Manila heat and stayed on
land for administrative duties. In rather short order he was
suffering the digestive disturbances and fall in blood pressure
common to heat exhaustion. He tried using cooled office
quarters, but the abrupt contrasts of entering and leaving from
outdoor heat only made his condition worse.

Offline PrometheusTopic starter

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Re: Climate Considered Especially in Relation to Man 1908/1918
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2022, 07:00:28 PM »

Finally invalided home, he was greatly chagrined to be still
on sick leave when war broke out. He is now rather rapidly
recovering and, with knowledge of the proper hygiene of living
in tropical heat, should soon be ready for active service again.

162
  There will be many similar cases of heat effects among the
thousands going directly into tropical heat from the winter
climate of the northem United States. Expert as are the Army
and Navy medical men in handling the tropical disease
problems of bacterial and parasitic origin, few of them have
given much thought to these disabling disturbances in body
physiology which arise from the direct effects of the heat
itself.

Tropical fevers and infections of various kinds have taken
a considerable toll among the forces fighting in the lowlands
of the East Indies, Malaya, and Southern China. One of the
most important reasons for Bataan’s fall was the presence of
malaria and other ailments among the courageous American
defenders. So long as drug supplies hold out, however, this toll
is now insignificant compared to what it was a half-century
ago, before modern medical methods of prevention and treat-
ment came into force. Perhaps proper measures to maintain
the highest possible vitality will still further reduce the ravages
brought by these hosts of minute tropical enemies. They are
always to be feared more than those in human form. Japancse
conquest of the East Indian sources for the world’s quinine
supply may prove to be one of her major victories over the
United Nations unless other effective anti-malarial drugs can
be discovered and produced quickly.

The British had always considered Singapore safe from land
attack because of the fever-ridden Malayan jungles; but the
Japanese attention to minute detail seems to have provided
effective protection for their men. Without adequate supplies
of quinine or other good anti-malarial drugs, such jungle
campaigns would indeed have been impossible.

Still more dangerous than sudden transfer of troops from
temperate coolness into tropical heat is a sudden shift in the
reverse direction. Pneumonia, tuberculosis, and a host of other
respiratory infections take a tremendous toll among troops
shifted from tropical homelands into winter fighting on northern
fronts. As we have already noted, in the First WoYld War tuber-
culosis among the African troops fighting in northern France
became almost as acute as pneumonia, running a very rapid
and often fatal course.

It would be disastrous for Italian soldiers to attempt winter
fighting in the polar cold of the northern Russian front. Even
in the much milder weather of the Crimea they are no match
for the more energetic Russians. Germans from the more
stimulating climate of north-central Europe are encountering

163
  considerable difficulties in the severe Russian cold. Their
difficulties, however, arise largely from lack of proper dress for
polar temperatures. Garments made of animal skins or furs are
the only ones capable of protecting against those wintry blasts;
only thus can the internal body heat be preserved hgainst too
rapid loss. The Russians have always relied on heavy furs for
winter use and hence have kept themselves well supplied; but
the men of Axis countries have never needed ormsed much of
this type of winter clothing. The Eskimo, in his suit and hood
of skins, is almost immune to outside Arctic cold.

Thus we have at least a part explanation of the vigorous
Russian offensive against the Germans, who froze arms and
feet by the thousands in the enforced winter fighting. The
German General Staff foresaw this danger and urged the
formation early in November of a winter defence line with
heated living quarters. Hitler gambled on paralysing the
Russian forces by a knockout blow before winter closed in.
His gamble backfired and his unprotected troops paid a terrific
price in their enforced activity at sub-zero temperatures. It was
this same catastrophe which overtook Napoleon, after he had
dallied too long on the Russian plains, with his troops in-
adequately clad for the cold of a Russian winter. Present-day
tanks and aeroplanes may be immobilized as the bitter cold
freezes their lubricating oils, but the shaggy-haired Russian
cavalry pony is then in his element.

In a country like ours, with marked climatic differences
between northern and Southern sections, it would seem wise to
use northern troop units for garrisoning Newfoundland, Green-
land, and Iceland, or for active fighting in northern Europe or
Asia. Troops of Southern origin, on the other hand, would be
better adapted for service in tropical heat. Training of the
present army has been conducted largely in camps located in
the south or along the Pacific coast. This undoubtedly has
lessened the respiratory disease hazard, and the Southern
summer warmth has partially prepared the boys for facing real
tropical heat; it does not, however, fit them so well for trans-
portation to cold fighting fronts.

In returning ‘the sick and wounded home from tropical
fighting fronts, careful consideration must again be given to
climatic and weather ‘effects. They face severe respiratory
disease hazards if brought directly into the cold and storms of
a northern winter. The non-stormy South-west offers the ideal
climate for their recuperation; several base hospitals and large
convalescent units should be established there. Men from

164
  colder regions of warfare can safely be sent to treatment centres
in other parts of the country.

At the close of the war, men who wlll have spent many months
fighting in tropical heat should be demobilized with care. Great
distress and a widespread epidemie of respiratory disease might
result if they were returned en masse to their northern homes
during the colder seasons of the year. It has been suggested that
the ravages of the terrible influenza and pneumonia epidemie
of the 1917-1918 winter were perhaps made much worse by
the thoughtless transportation of tens of thousands of Southern
draftees to northern cantonments.

Whatever places become future battlegrounds—whether it be
Ceylon, Madagascar, Dakar, Alaska, or Arctic regions near the
northern supply route to Russia—it is apparent that special pro-
vision must be made for troops who are shifted from temperate
zone climates to far different surroundings. This, to be sure, is
only one of many problems facing the world’s military leaders.
But it is an especially important problem, for it involves the
efficiency and morale of the fighting forces—and the war will
be won by soldiers who are as efficiënt and as high in morale
as possible.

Recently there occurred one of the most impressive demon-
strations of the part climate is playing in the fighting melee of
to-day. The eastward onrush of Rommel’s armoured force
across northern Libya and Egypt—coming at a time of year
when it was maintained that severe desert heat would render
tank warfare impossible—is now rumoured to have been made
possible by the use of air-cooled tanks. The Allies had con-
sidered such air-conditioning, but had discarded it as not
feasible because of the tremendous weight of the cooling equip-
ment involved. Some time ago I suggested the use of the
radiational cooling scheme described in Chapter 15, since it
would provide insulation against outside heat as well as cooling
of the tank occupants with a minimal mechanical load. Military
authorities are considering the matter, but it now seems certain
that American Science will have to join more closely with
industry and take a direct part in the carrying out of the war
effort of the United Nations.

165
  CHAPTER SI

MIGRATION FOR HEALTH

The case of Mr. X in Chapter 8 was one example of
the advice which may be given in answer to the query, “Where
is the best place for me to live?” This question has been put to
me time and again by persons learning for the first time of the
climatic and weather dominance over their lives. For the
chronic sinus trouble of Mr. X I advised permanent migration
to the South-west, but other climatic regions also have their
good points. Obviously there can be no single answer, for much
depends upon the person’s physical condition and what he
wishes in life. If he seeks healthful contentment and real pleasure
in living, then the ideal climate will be such as the American
South-west offers at 4,000-5,000 feet elevation, or at still higher
levels farther south in Mexico or the Andean highlands. There
moderate stimulation keeps alive one’s interest in life, without
the impatience and boundless enthusiasm which make existence
in colder, more stormy regions so irritating and unsatisfying.

If it is a life of indolent, effortless ease he desires, he should
head for tropical heat where that kind of existence prevails
naturally. But for a life of accomplishment and activity, of keen
competition and initiative, of restless energy in both brain and
body, let him choose the stormy climates of middle temperate
lattitudes. If such be his choice, however, he should be prepared
for a life of strife at every turn—strife in home relations and
discipline, strife in business, strife in public and international
affairs, strife in old age, and strife even in trying to hold death
at bay.

The stresses of northern life, however, give evidence of being
serious health factors, particularly for people who have passed
middle age and lost the resiliency of youth. Cold weather
bothered them little through their younger years, but with
advancing age they chili more easily and meet sudden tem-
perature changes less well. The slower, easy life of warmer
climates exercises more and more of an appeal to these people
with each passing year, and midwinter sees those who are able
heading southward. The automobile trailer was originally

166
  developed to meet the needs and desires of these winter migrants
to the sunny Southland. lts success with them soon led to its
widespread use for family travel of all kinds, but it still remains
predominantly a means of north-south seasonal migration.

Like the sap in a mighty oak, automobile trailers begin to
leave their northern outposts with the first autumn frost.
Trickling along the roads at first singly, then in increasing
numbers, by Thanksgiving time they flood the main highways
to the South. They line up by the thousands in Florida’s regi-
mented trailer parks through the winter months, their carefree
occupants basking in that delightful winter atmosphere. Early
March finds them moving back northward with the robins,
fanning out in all directions to reach their New York, Michigan,
or Minnesota homes for the opening of spring. There they stay
from the time the leaves open until they change.colour and
flut ter to the ground in autumn.

Development of the trailer seemed for a while to offer
Americans as nomadic a life as they might wish. People in their
fifties and sixties quit struggling against the rigours of northern
winter life, rented or sold their houses, and took to a trailer
existence. South in winter, north in summer—they were then
as free as the birds to choose the temperature of their environ-
ment.

Younger couples by other hundreds of thousands were forced
from their homes during the long period of economie depression
and by widespread droughts in the plains States. These hordes
headed westward, as have nearly all migratory masses since the
beginnings of the race in Central Asia. Constant streams of them
poured into California and the Pacific North-west, with the
whole family and a few household belongings piled into the
most ramshackle conveyances imaginable. Without funds or
chance to work, these wanderers soon swamped all relief
facilities in the Coastal States. Camping in any available spot,
but especially along the mountain streams, by their unsanitary
life they raised real disease hazards for the surrounding com-
munities and forced Govemmental attention to focus on their
problems.

For several years West Coast authorities struggled with the
handling of this nomad population without much success.
Booming war industries have now provided temporary employ-
ment and means of support for many of them, but their basic
peacetime problems still remain. Similar medical problems arise
from the thousands of migratory labourers who follow seasonal
employment northward from early spring to late autumn, with

167
  no home except the tents or trailers they and their families
' occupy. From strawberry-picking in February, they move north-
ward by easy stages with the ripening of the crops, both in the
East and in the Far West.

States and smaller settled communities have found it necessary
to put the same restrictions and obligations upon these homeless
migrants as they do upon their own permanent inhabitants. In
a sparsely settled country few hygienic restrictions are needed,
but when many millions of people are concerned, careful watdï
must be kept of the factors which promote the spread of disease.
The trailer and free movement of families from place to place
threatened to become such a menace, in addition to creating
difficult school and public service problems; hence rules and
regulations are gradually being worked out, again placing on
these people their proper responsibilities as members of a civi-
lized society. The complete freedom thus seemingly offered by
the trailer in its early years is gradually being r^placed by the
cares of a settled life, as indeed it must in any densely populated
land.

In spite of these problems, however, America is on the move
again. Perhaps because of our driving climate, we have never
been a people to strike deep roots into the soil of a given locality
like the more fixed populations of the Old World. Few of our
homesteads are handed down for generations within the same
family. Being thus somewhat nomadic by dispositibn, we should
be well able to avoid any climatic or weather situation not to our
liking. We have at hand the means and the disposition: it only
remains for us to acquire the knowledge as to when and where
we should move.

There are several large classes of northerners who would
benefit from seasonal or permanent southward migration. The
largest of these includes the millions of elderly people whose
tissue fires have pretty well burned out or become choked with
the clinkers of degenerative disease. With their arteriosclerosis,
diabetes, chronic nephritis, heart troubles, and a host of other
chronic ailments, they are no longer fit for the physical struggle
it takes to survive the stormy cold of northern winters. Younger
and more resilient individuals match the rigours of winter with
a heightening of their own vitality and bodily vigour, but the
winter battle is too strenuous for the brittle oldster. With his
lowered rate of internal heat production, he chills easily; and
with each chilling his already sluggish white blood cells become
still more inactive, leaving him especially susceptible to pneu-
monia, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.

168
  Untold numbers of elderly northemers have found benefk
from wintering in the South or from moving there for permanent
residence. Many others should realize the value of such a move
in giving them a more prolonged and healthful existence for
their declining years. Day-by-day activities in Southern warmth
follo\V a less energetic pattern and fit better the slower combustion
rate of body tissues in the later decades t>f life. The energetic
northemer finds it difficult to keep up his working enthusiasm
after a few months in tropical warmth. Money-making schemes
seem less enticing when the body heat generated in their planning
and executkm is difficult to dispose of. So the retired northerner
who finds icfle life such a bore should go south and let the warmth
fit him to a slower tempo of affairs.

Such advice is particularly appropriate for any person whose
arteries have hardened under the stress of northern life and
whose heart has narrow limits to the work it can perform.
Such people, and their diabetic brethren, would add years and
increased comfort to their lives by getting away from the in-
vigoration of cool climates. The farther they move into tropical
heat the better it will be for them. Southern Florida, the Browns-
ville district of Texas, or Southern California—these should be
their havens of refuge within the borders of the United States.
Northern Florida and the northern Gulf coast offer a delightful
climate for winter vacationing, but only during the summer
months is their warmth sufficiënt to subdue an active body
metabolism.

Migration to Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Panama would be still
more effective, but few Americans care to go beyond the borders
of their homeland for permanent residence. Wintering in some
tropical country would be helpful, but the return to northern
homes could not safely be made before April or May, when ail
danger of cold weather has passed. Several weeks or months
of tropical warmth would bring a sharp lowering of the body’s
resistance to respiratory infections, leaving the returning in-
dividual overly susceptible to colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, and
pneumonia.

The millions of people affiieted with repeated respiratory
troubles each winter form another large group who would benefit
greatly from permanent or seasonal change of climate. They
should not seek tropical warmth, however, but rather a non-
stormy region with moderately invigorating climate. Within
the United States such climatic conditions exist only in the
South-west, within about 200 miles of the Mexican border from
El Paso to the Pacific coast. Cyclonic weather disturbances

169
  practically never bring their sudden changes in temperature
and barometric pressure to that region. Peoplc living there are
in the main rcmarkably free from the respiratory and rheumatic
troubles storm changes bring elsewhere.

Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque, or other valley cities of that
region offer delightful wintering spots for respiratory disease
sufferers, but for year-round residence a more elevated or
slightly more northern location should be chosen so as to avoid
the severe daytime heat of the summer months. The Southern
California climate is also good, except along the immediate
Coastal fringe where the constant inshore winds laden with ocean
moisture exercise a bad influence. This ocean mafeture is es-
pecially bad during the midwinter months, when thick fogs
oftcn prevail. A permanent residence for sufferers from respira-
tory disease should thus be located well back from the coast
(30 miles or so), and preferably 2,000-3,000 feet above sea-level.
The South-western climate is the best America has to offer people
whose lives are made miscrable by one respiratory infection
after another through the stormy winter months. Similar benefits
are offered European sufferers by the mild climate of the
Meditcrranean Basin and northern Africa.

Many persons have found their sinusitis or chronic bronchitis
made worse instead of better by a midwinter sojourn in the
Caribbean or Gulf toast regions. This happens for two reasons.
First, the warmth lowers their tissue vitality and allows the
infections they carry in chronic form to become more active or
acute; second, hurricane-type storms sweep westward across the
West Indies through the autumn and early winter, bringing
somewhat the samc influences on man as do the cyclonic storms
of northern winters.

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Re: Climate Considered Especially in Relation to Man 1908/1918
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2022, 07:01:06 PM »

Removal to the South-west is most imperative for people
attacked by acute rheumatic infections of the joints or heart
valves. Unfortunately, these attacks are most frequent among
poor people who are bound to their place of abode by the iron
chains of poverty. Real tragedy often faces a child in whom
rheumatic infection begins, with one attack after another
bringing increasing damage to the heart and finally ending in
complete invalidism or death. Transfer to the non-stormy South-
west usually prevents new attacks and allows gradual repair of
the heart damage.

Economie handicaps unfortunately prevent most people from
availing themselves of the benefits such changes of location offer.
Here would seem to be a logical avenue for federal action in the
interests of the public heaith. Establishment of convalescent

170
  colonies or health farms in irrigated valleys of the South-west
might allow many people now incapacitated by respiratory or
rheümatic infections to regain their health and again become
self-supporting. The home communities of many such patients
would find it less expensive to finance migration than to pay for
the repeated hospitalizations required if the victims live on
where their disease progresses from bad to worse.

A more enlightened public-health attitude would also aid
thousands of elderly people to move from the north to less
energizftig Southern regions where they could lead a more
comfortable existence and at the same time be fed and cared
for more cheaply. America is only just beginning to consider
the problems of its ageing population. As their numbers become
still more numerous in the decades ahead, and the public con-
science becomes more aware of their Handicaps, perhaps steps
will be taken to aid them in finding Southern homes for their
declining years. Many will not care to leave family and friends
for such a move, but the possibility of doing so should not be
limited to the well-to-do as it now is. A man who has spent his
life labouring with his hands in the nation’s workshops has earned
the right to a comfortable old age just as much as has the well-
paid executive who directed his labours. Somc travellers have
reported Russia as being far ahead of us in such matters, with
numerous health resorts and convalescent colonies for working
people dotting the Black Sea shores.

Hay-fever sufferers who fail to obtain relief from desensitizing
injections often find removal to another locality a great help.
After discovering the'particular pollen to which they are scnsitive,
they should seek a region where that plant does not grow and
stay there during its blossoming season. Owing to the desert
conditions generally prevailing in the South-west, the air there
is usually free of pollen, and that region is a favourite resort for
hay-fever victims. Injection treatment at home is less expensive
than yearly migration, but it usually must be repeated just
before each hay-fever season. Many such sufferers choose to
take their annual vacation at their season of trouble and go
away to an atmosphere free of the particles which bother them.

Still another class to whom the non-stormy South-west should
appeal is the type so very sensitive to change in barometric
pressure. For many people the days of sharply falling pressure
mean real misery—headaches, migraine attacks, melancholie
moods, restlessness, and hyper-irritability. Often it is the lining
mucosa of the nose and sinuses which is sensitive to weather
change, puffing up with the approach of stormy weather ter clog
  the sinus openings and bring acute discomfort. Many so-called
sinus headaches arise on this basis. For such weather-sensitive
people the South-west offers great benefits. Some of them arè so
extremely susceptible that they are affected even by the minute
pressure changes occurring at Los Angeles, but for most that
climate affords almost complete relief.

What about migration for the southerner? His greatest benefits
come from avoidance of the depressive summer heat. Nearby
mountain or seaside resorts serve him best. To escape the heat
by going northward up the central trough of the contirient he
would need to travel almost to the Ganadian border, else he
might encounter summer heat even more severe than at his
Gulf coast home. Southerners or tropical residents suffering
from low vitality and heat debility—children especially—often
obtain marked benefit from a few weeks in northern coolness.
They should take care, however, to leave the North before the
winter storms begin, else they will encounter severe respiratory
disease risks. Among the thousands of labourers and draftees
who came up from the Southern States during the First World
War, winter cold and storms exacted a truly terrible pneumonia
toll.

The only change of climate possible for most people must be
squeezed into their year’s brief vacation period. When should
this vacation be taken, and where should they go? The answer
will depend upon the type of person concerned. For the energetic,
dynamic type of northerner, a January or February vacation
in Southern warmth is best, since it gives a restful break in the
long period of winter stress. Such people should stay on the job
during summer warmth so that the heat can slow them down
somewhat. That is their yearly chance at the biologie rest they
stand in great need of, for their greatest health dangers arise
from the breakdown and exhaustive diseases such as heart failure
or diabetes. With their high metabolic rate, they usually dislike
summer heat, although they need its calming effect.

Many less dynamic northerners find themselves slumping into
tropical lethargy in summer heat, or perhaps they develop
symptoms of mild heat exhaustion—low blood pressure, weakness,
loss of appetite, lassitude, etc. For such people vacations had
best be taken in a cooler locality through the worst of the summer
warmth.

Finally, there are those who do poorly in both winter cold
and summer heat, those exhausted neurasthenics or people with
a constitutionally subnormal physique who need to migrate with
the birds—north in summer and south in winter. Such people

172
  are fortunate indeed if they possess the means to finance travel;
otherwise they make themselves and everyone around them
miserable by wanting high indoor temperatures in winter and
by constantly reminding everyone of how hot it is in summer.
Their distress is unquestionably real and is often best relieved
by intensive B vitamin therapy to reinforce their tissue com-
bustion processes.

The day may not be far distant when our knowledge of nutji-
tion will enable us to maintain a high energy level in tropical
heat. Propei* use of the B vitamins—the combustion catalysts—
may make this possible, liberating tropical residents from the
lethargy which has smothered all initiative up to now. The boon
to mankind would be great indeed if the material wealth and
productive capacity of tropical lands could be matched with a
more effective energy level in the native inhabitants or in people
migrating there from cooler lands.

One very minor type of migration for health is needed in the
industrial cities of the earth. People should abandon—for
residence purpose—those districts where atmospheric pollution
raises severe respiratory disease hazards. Movement to homes out
in cleaner suburban air will pay high dividends in health. In
such change of location study should be made of local topography
and prevailing wind direction so as to avoid the stream of smoke-
laden air. This outward shifting of city populations has long been
in progress, and has been responsible for destructive shrinkagc
in downtown real-estate values. Smoke and industrial dirt thus
cast their pall over economie values, as well as over the people’s
health. Some day an aroused public will demand that proper
steps be. taken to relieve this wasteful and unsightly situation.

It is true that the great majority of people are not sulfidently
bothered by climatic and weather handicaps to justify the
breaking of long-established business and social relationships
for removal to a different climate; but if all climatic or weather
victims in the North were to re-locate in the South or South-
west, those regions would become densely populated. Florida
could handle millions of oldsters on small plots of land, but much
more irrigated acreage would be needed in the South-west to
support the army of weather refugees who would head in that
direction.

While we as a nation were young and lusty, we gave little
attention to these matters; now that the proportion of elderly
people in the population is rapidly increasing, more thought is
being given to environmental handicaps and the advantages
different regions have to offer. Elderly people started the winter

173
  movement to the South, and they will probably be the pioneers
also to other regions. With their waning vitahty they feel the
handicaps most keenly and are often best situated economically
to make the needed change 'of location. People retired from
their life-time occupation, pensioned war veterans, widows left
with enough insurance money or other accumulated wealth for
their support, young people out of college looking for a place
to begin the real business of life, invalids, and many others are
the ones who should give thought to the climatic factor in life
and what it might mean for their health and welfare.

CHAPTER 22

FROM FLOOD TIDE TO BEGINNING EBB

u ver 2,000 years ago the people of early Greece
reached levels of development fully as high as those of to-day
along social, economie, and philosophical lines, but they lacked
the mechanical ingenuity which has brought to us the Golden
Age of the Machine. To-day the machine has so woven itself
into our lives that it completely dominates every phase of
existence. Look around wherever you are—at the clothing you
wear, the books or papers you read, the furniture you use, the
building sheltering you, your means of transportation and
communication, the iood you cat, even the conditioned air you
breathe—all show the work of complicated machinery. Man’s
activities have expanded at an ever-increasing rate through
recent centuries, with the application of an inventive and
scientific genius such as had never before been seen.

During the rapid advance through this astonishing mechanical
age, man expanded also in other ways. His numbers over the
earth more than doubled in 'the nineteenth century alone. He
increased also in his individual stature and came to maturity
at progressively earlier ages. Fathers regularly saw their sons
grow up to tower over them, mothers found themselves looking
upward into the faces of their tall daughters. Not very favour-
able to parental discipline, this having children in their teens
look down upon their parents!

Stature improvement since Revolutionary days has indeed
been remarkable. The soldier of to-day is four inches taller than

174
  the private of a hundred and fifty years ago and has more weight
for each inch of height. College student records in some American
schools go back almost a half-century, and even in that short
period the freshman boys have shown a two-inch gain in average
height. Junoesque figures for the girls may mean good health,
but they occasion much social embarrassment, since few boys
like partners taller than themselves. The social problems of the
tall girl are real and in some places are being met by the for-
mation of clubs for tall people of both sexes, where everyone
is up on the same level.

The rapid gain in stature of recent times has brought other
amusing and troublesome problems. Mr. Pullman built his first
sleeping car in 1859 with a berth length of 71 inches from the
centre of one partition to the next, patterning his berths after
those in use on passenger ships of that day. In his next model
brought out 6 years later he increased this berth length to
72 inches. Continued complaints from travellers caused a further
increase to 75 inches, and finally to the present 77^-inch mat-
tress length in use on the sleeping cars recently put into service.
Cabin berths on ships caused their occupants similar cramped
inconvenience until the passenger liners changed over to full-
length regular beds. Plenty of ships still in service use the
old-style berths—far too narrow and short for the well-built
man of to-day. Seating space in theatres and other gathering
places also provides entirely too little knee and elbow room.
Building specifications simply have not kept pace with the
changing stature of the occupants.

Many of the really old beds now in existence are much too
short for their present owners. One of my friends, a well-built
man, bought a pair of beautiful antique beds for his seaside
cottage, but found that a 6-inch elongation of the sidc pieces
was necessary before they fitted his size. King Georgc of England,
in his pre-war visit to Paris, was given Napoleon’s bedchamber
and Napoleon’s own specially made bed for his use. Press
reports of the visit failed to mention just how he spent the night,
but Napoleon was 5 feet 2 inches in height and King George is
about 6 feet! Even the longest diagonal of the bed must still
have lacked several inches of providing sufficiënt room for him
to stretch out in tired relaxation.

The wife of a colleague on the university faculty loaned me
an old Crew List she had inherited from her New England
ancestors. In it were listed the heights and ages of men signing
on for a schooner voyage from Marblehead to Leghorn in
August of 1801. Most of the men were in their middle twenties

175
  and their average height was 66 inches. New England young
men of to-day are about 4 inchejs taller than this. One member
of the crew was a 13-year-old cabin boy with a height of
56 inches, whereas both of my sons at 13 have been
66 inches! It is no wonder old-time sleeping berths were so
short—they were ample for the men using them in those days.

The average man is now about 70 inches tall in various regions
over the earth where recent human progress has been most
marked. Anthropologists say that this is about the height
attained by various other human groups back through the
centuries as they reached the pinnacle of their development.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks, the Romans, the early
Indians of the American South-west, all achieved this stature
at the height of their glory and then declined in size as well
as in culture.

With the one long decline of historical times—the European
Dark Ages—man receded far from his former peak in both
culture and body size. The knights and nobles wearing the suits
of armour in those dark centuries would be mere pygmies com-
pared to the picked soldiers of to-day. Even a well-developed
American boy of 14 would have great difficulty getting into
most of the suits of armour now on exhibit in the world’s
museums. If the picked fighters of those days were small, fine-
boncd men, the common people must have been puny indeed.
And the damsels, who so often seemed in need of rescue by the
knights, were really fcmales in miniature who came to sexual
maturity about 3 years later than do our self-sufficient girls
of to-day. Back in ancient Greece, on the other hand, the
womcn were well developed and began their sexual cycles at
the same early age prevailing among the most advanced of
present-day girls.

European people of the Dark Ages seemed to be of low
vitality in every way. Small in body and late in developing, they
were also subject to pestilences which repeatedly lessened their
numbers. Poor transportation ^nd economie chaos greatly in-
creased their difficulties in securing proper food, leaving them
more susceptible to the disease scourges so prevalent through
those times. Leprosy, which to-day seems unable to make head-
way in middle temperate climates, swept up over the whole of
Europe in the severe form seen to-day only in regions o^tropical
heat. It and other scourges declined with the oncoming cold of
the Renaissance period, and European* populations began
a growth spurt which has since filled all the far corners of the
globe.

176
  Since man has seemed Jo recede in body size and speed of
development with long historical periods of warmth and to
blossom forth in cooler centuries, it appears likely that people
of to-day should be .showing evidences of another beginning
decline in physique as earth temperatures again approach the
Dark Age level. The present long rise^in tcmperature has been
slow and halting except for the more severe upthrusts of the past
two decades, but the high temperatures of the last ten ycars
have carried us up close to the levels of Viking times, judging
by the depth of summer thaws in the old Greenland cemeteries.
If these temperature changes really are a factor in human
development, then the present astonishing growth tide should
by now be showing signs of a reversal.

Recent close check of college freshman stature indicates that
such reversal is indeed already in progress. Many months of the
most tedious and uninteresting kind of work were spent in
collecting and sorting data from some sixty-odd thousand
student health cards, lfut the point seemed of sufficiënt import-
ance to justify such efforts. Stature changes in entering freshmen
were studied at four state universities ranging in latitude from
North Carolina to Wisconsin. State schools were chosen because
their freshmen are mostly drawn from nearby areas and are
more representative of the population of their immediate
neighbourhood than would be the case with private or sectarian
schools.

Briefly stated, I found that the height of freshman girls at the
universities of North Carolina, Kentucky,, and Kansas became
stabilized about io years ago; The girls still seem to be getting
slightly heavier with each entering class, but no further height
increase is taking place. The height of boys stopped increasing
about 8 years ago, but they are still gaining in weight. Farthcr
north the Wisconsin freshmen still continue to gain in height
and weight, although the height gains are now quite small with
boys and girls of successive entering classes. Freshman boys in -
Wisconsin are on the average an inch taller and 5 pounds
heavier than those of Kansas and Kentucky.

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Re: Climate Considered Especially in Relation to Man 1908/1918
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2022, 07:01:56 PM »


During the recent decades of marked stature improvement
there had also been a change toward earlier onset of puberty.
Sexual cycles of freshman girls now begin a full year earlier than
they did 30 years ago. This trend toward ever earlier onset of
puberty has recently changed again, however, for North
Carolina freshman girls born since 1918 have shown a pro-
gressively later age for -beginning of their sexual cycles. At
Cincinnati and in Kansas the reversal came a year later, while

177
  in Wisconsin only the faintest hints of a turn have been found.

Even down in the high schools, body size is tending to become
stabilized for given age groups. The 15-year-old children of this
year’s class do not show so much gain over those of last year’s
as was the case a decade ago. In fact, following the severe heat
of the 1934 and 1936 summers in Cincinnati, the stature of
high-school children received an actual set-back. Instead of
showing the usual yearly improvement with successive classes
of 12-year-olds, for instance, children of this age were actually
smaller after those hot summers than had been the case in
former years.

Down at the grade-school ages stature is still improving. Èkch
year’s erop of 9-year-olds is better developed than was that of
the preceding year. But stabilization seems to be advancing
through the years of youth toward ever earlier ages, so that we
may expect before many years to see even the 5-year-olds of
one year no better than those of the year before.

Improved methods of feeding and a befter supply of fruits and
green vegetabfes at all seasons have no doubt been responsible
for much of the improvement in growth through childhood and
youth. This was probably an important factor also in the
advancing adult stature. But to-day we face an oncoming
stabilization and probable recession at a time when dietary
standards and the availability of proper foods are better than
ever before. Furthermore, the growth tide reversal is taking
place even in that part of the population usually best nourished.
Some force other than mere food deficiency must therefore be
at work over the earth, reversing our trend from racial
expansion in size and vitality into the start of a profound
rctreat.

This finding of a beginning biologie recession gives sharp
emphasis to the social and economie turmoil around us. Pon-
derous forces seem perhaps to be again tuming man’s course
downward after centuries of most remarkable advance and
achievement. If changes in world temperatures really affect us
in the ways pictured in these pages, then we do indeed seem
to be heading into a period of prolonged and disheartening
decline.

Perhaps you feel that this gloomy view of the situation is not
justified, that man’s control over his physical environment is
much better to-day than it was 2,óoo years ago, and that Science
will find ways to prevent the calamity which seems to impend.
Any such optimistic attitude seems hardly warranted, however,
for already there has been a sharp shrinkage of funds available

178
  for scientific research and higher education. European countries
suffered for years from this dwindling support while our funds
were still plentiful, but the financial trend of the last ten years
in America has cast dismay over those in charge of our in-
stitutions of leaming and research. Increasing aijiounts of
federal funds are being doled out from Washington in an effort
to keep scientists at their investigations, but with such support
often goes a degree of open or hidden dictation regarding the
kind of work to be done; any such reginientation of Science will
almost certainly result in impaired productivity.

Great discoveries usually arise from among a large number of
futile-appearing individual projects scattered here and there.
At first glance the multiplicity and duplication of these scattered
efforts make Science seem very wasteful, but no better way has
yet been found to give hidden genius its chance to emerge.
A very considerable element of chance lies behind the making
of important new discoveries, hence the broadest and least
restricted working base will always give greatest results.

Science of to-day should make every possible effort to put its
new findings into easily understood language, especially when-
ever they bear directly upon the public welfare. Many in-
vestigators have in the past scorned to recognize this duty; but
with the present increasing dependence upon public funds,
workers will be compelled to thus justify their projects in the
public eye. In passing from the field of abstract Science into
concrete utilitarianism, fundamental developments may suffer;
but it seems that the change is upon us. and that its implications
should be recognized by all. Here, as elsewhere, publicity can
easily be overdone and workers greatly handicapped by too
active salesmanship; but in general the reporting of scientific
findings is to-day very well done and merits the closest co-
operation from investigators.

In quite another direction there is also room for doubt as to
our ability to benefit long from present scientific knowledge.
To-day we see public and personal health measures producing
widespread reduction in many diseases and bringing about
a progressive lengthening of the life span. This has been off-
setting quite Iargely the reduction in birth rate of recent
decades. City water supplies have been purified with untold
saving of life. Malaria has been eradicated from large areas.
Cholera, typhus, and yellow fever are being restricted in thoir
spread from regions endemically affected. But eternal vigilance
is the price we must pay for these highly desirable results. And
vigilance is costly in energy terms.

179
  Tropical cities to-day maintain safe water and sewage Systems
only by an importation of energetic overseers from the more
dynamic temperate regions. If left entirely in local hands, they
would within a very few decades succumb to political graft and
revert to their former indolent filth. Even with smallpox vacci-
nation in the most enlightened regions, it is only constant
compulsion which maintains a high denree of mass immunity.
Were this compulsion removed, vaccination would soon drop
to quite ineffective levels, and real epidemics of the disease would
again appear. We have to-day a very good example of this in
the sector of the United States lying west and north of Missouri.
These 16 States provided almost nine-tenths of the country’s
15,111 smallpox cases in 1938, although they contain only
about a quarter of the total population. In 3 of them com-
pulsory vaccination is actually prohibited by law!

Even our food supply is made safe only by a thin veneer of
governmental control which is kept effective by constant vigil-
arice. Sickness and death lurk behind the least carelessness in
the preparation and handling of our milk supply, our canned
foods and meats, the drugs we use, and the beverages we drink.
And in the city air we breathe, only the faintest beginnings
have yet been made in the eradication of harmful contami-
nations.

A few decades of falling energy level and initiative could, and
probably would, bring aboiit a rapid crumbling of this fragile
defence shelter we have built up around our health and welfare.
Not only would scientific advance cease; We might well rapidly
slough off much of our present application of scientific dis-
coveries. Even in the mechanical field, or perhaps most markedly
there, regression would be disastrous. Mechanical developments
of to-day have become so complicated and involved, depending
on such high degree of accuracy and skill, that they would be
quickly affected by a loss of initiative and intense mental appli-
cation to the problems at hand. How long could air trans-
portation survive an increasing carelessness, when one mechanical
fault in construction or operation means certain death for many
passengers?

Our vaunted advances thus render us all the more vulnerable
to a recession in energy and initiative if it is to come. We need
not delude ourselves into a false sense of security behind our
present level of scientific development, for there is no such
security. What use was made of the valuable knowledge amassed
in early Greece and Rome when man descended into the murky
centuries of the Middle Ages? Yet medical knowledge of the

180
  early Greeks compared well with that of to-day except in the
phases dependent on mechanical skill and precision. In medicine
of to-day, as in transportation, industry, and the arts, we place
great reliance upon mechanical devices of highly technical
character. Should the control of society’s welfare be taken from
the intelligent and ingenious few and be grasped by the hands
of the ignorant many, our machine-age civilization would
speedily crumble and plunge us into another Dark Age.

As man has gone down in past tidal recessions, he not only
ceased actually adding to his knowledge but even lost his ability
to use that which he already possessed. For instance, it has been
recently pointed ’6ut that in early Egyptian and Babylonian
times mathematical knowledge was far advanced, but that from
about 2,000 to 500 b.c. no use whatever was made of such
functions as quadratic equations. With the early Greeks such
knowledge was revived and given much further progress. But
it once more suffered a complete eclipse during the Middle
Ages, as mankind receded in all other ways. Revival and
marked mathematical advances have again held sway since
the time of the Renaissance.

If such abstract and fundamental knowledge and mental
skill as that required for higher mathematical works can suffer
such complete eclipse with long periods of warmth and physical
decline, then we should no longer doubt the precariousness of
our present situation. Our complete dependence upon the
machine, and upon the intricate technical knowledge required
to keep it in operation, renders us very susceptible to the long
mental decline which now seems perhaps due to recur. Ours
will probably be looked back upon as the Mechanical Age of
Science and Industry, abandoned by man as he lost the mental
acuity to operate successfully the intricate devices previous
intelligence had invented.

Still another featurq of the tidal change which has been causing
concern in high places of several nations is the increasing reduc-
tion in reproductivity. For almost 80 years the fertility of
English women has been declining, and estimates have been
made that another 150 years of similar decline may bring the
population down to perhaps one-tenth of its present mass, with
reversion to a pastoral type of life. The wave of ninetcenth-
century reproductivity doubled human numbers on earth but
showed signs of slowing down by the end of the century; during
the early decades of the twentieth century this loss of momentum
became alarming in several of the previously most vigorous
peoples. Interesting speculation may well arise as to just how

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  far this reduced fertility may go toward bringing about an
actual reduction in human numbers on earth during the
centuries ahead.

Serious social consequences arise from the change in racial
reproduction. Fewer children will soon mean less crowded
school conditions in the cities of America. For many decades we
have been frantically enlarging our school facilities, only to find
the ncw quarters soon just as crowded as the old. That will
soon cease and be replaced by a yearly decline in enrolment.
Such a decline has already begun, for in many American cities
primary-grade enrolment is 25-30 per cent. less than it was
ten years ago. A pre-war study in London showed that the
school population will be less than half what it is to-day if the
birth rate continues for another 20 years its course of the past
several decades. However, as the burden of educating fewer
children lessens through the decades, society will be faced with
the problem of caring for a growing proportion of aged de-
pendants. So perhaps we shall soon be converting our fine
school buildings into homes for the aged.

Man to-day faces a real challenge. He has the intelligence and
skill to control artificially those very factors of his environment
which produce wide fluctuations in racial capacity and develop-
ment. This intelligence, however, resides only in a few members
of the total human mass, and can function effectively only as
the masses understand, encourage, and apply its dictates.
Whether the genius and high intelligence of the few will be
permitted to function therefore depends entirely upon mass
psychology and the social and political motivating forces direct-
ing the course of events. If those forces favour individual
opportunity and the exercise of initiative, then mental genius
will be stimulated to the utmost. But with the mass demanding
“subsistence” and “social security,” less attention will be given
to encouraging the inventive genius of the race.

Many peoplc claim to see another dire threat to the usefulness
of Science in the labour revolution now taking place over the
wdrld. Rugged individualism of recent centuries had its faults
and selfish aspects, but its keen appreciation of the value of
scientific discoveries was largely responsible for the amazing
developments of the machine age in which we now live. But
may not labour develop a similar appreciatioh after it has had
more experience with the responsibilities of national guidance?
Here, as on the field of battle, Russia provides ground for
optimism, for her scientific men are given every encouragement
and occupy most favoured living conditions. A short 25 years

182
  of labour rule there seems to have accomplished great things,
to have changed a lumbering, clumsy, discontented giant into
the fervently patriotic people who to-day are matching most
intricate skill in a war to the death against the world’s best
organizers and accomplished scientists. No matter how many
doubts we may have had regarding the Russian political
philosophy of recent decades, the whole world should now be
willing and anxious to understand more about the workings of
the forces which have wrought such changes.

There can be no gainsaying the fact that labour is definitely
on the move toward a higher place in world affairs. The labour-
union ferment had long been at work before the massive Russian
experiment began. The matter came to a head in Britain with
the general strike of 1926 and the formation of MacDonald’s
Labour Government. Even in far-off China, the Nationalist
uprising which reached Peking as we were leaving in 1928 was
largely on this basis; and the Chinese Red Army has given
a most able account of itself in the years of defcnce against
Japanese aggression. lts 6,000-mile trek around the Kuomintang
forces to get at the Japs in the north will live for ever among
the world legends of patriotic performances.

It is indeed unfortunate that the bitter struggle for power
here in America should have come at a time whcn long-
established trends of various kinds seemed to be charting a new
course. It looks very much as though our President was right
a few years ago when he said in effect that old landmarks no
longer sufficed, that we were putting out upon unchartcd seas
with only experimental soundings taken from time to time to
guide our course in the troubled years ahead. Events of

2,000   years ago, as ancient civilizations began slipping into the
abyss of the Dark Ages, can help us little to-day, for scenes and
people change with the passing millenniums. The rcal tragedy
of America—and other countries—of to-day is that ponderous
trends so often go on unrecognized, with a nat ion’s wealth and
accumulated advantages being dissipated in bitter class oppo-
sition. If only the certainty of the change and direction of trend
were more obvious and convincing, much human miscry and
wasting of valpes might be avoided.

If another recurring millennium of warmth is now really
plunging humanity back into a new Dark Age, we may well
consider the possible rearrangements in world power which
may take place. The present global conflict is erasing national
boundaries and bringing about new international alignments
which may have a profound inffuence upon the future course

183
  of history. All now is fluidity, with every thinking person
realizing that there can be no return to pre-war conditions.
A new scheme of things must be constructed after the war has
ended. Who will sit at the head of the peace table and whose
will be the dominant voice?

Many people have professed to see a “rising tide of colour” as
the conquering grip of Western nations has shown signs of
relaxing its hold over the population masses of tropics and
Oriënt. The present onrush of Japanese conquest provides sharp
emphasis to the changed relations now clearly seen for the first
time. Japan has availed herself fully of the Western world’s
mechanical ingenuity to weid a powerful military machine.
Her men are no fighting prodigies, however, as has been
demonstrated whenever they have come to grips with American
forces under conditions of equal equipment. In fact, the ragged
troops of China, with almost no military background and
entirely negligible equipment, are often out-fighting the
Japanese invaders.

The really crucial factor responsible for Japanese conquests in
the Far East would seem to be a softening and crumbling of
the hold Western nations have long exercised there. The French
Empire is gone; that of Britain is rapidly following. The day of
a dominant white, race is past so far as the Oriënt and all Asia
are concerned, and the same may perhaps well hold for the
human masses throughout the tropics.

If and when Germany and Japan can be defeated and de-
militarized, it would seem logical that dominant places at the
peace table should be occupied by Russia and China. These are
the two peoples who have done the major part of the heavy
fighting, who have provided the most steadfast and grim resist-
ance to the aggressor nations, who ask nothing in return except
the privilege of pursuing their home affaire without outside
dictation. Endowed with a high degree of realism in world
affaire, they should have a large part in the post-war reconstruc-
tion of the Eurasian situation. They are the ones who must
continue to live alongside the present trouble-makers. People of
America are farther removed from the seat of trouble and have
a somewhat more academie interest in the whole matter. So
let Stalin take the head seat, with Chiang Kai-shek on his right
and the Anglo-Saxon group on his left.

As for a “rising tide of colour” engulfing the white race, the
chances for such are probably negligible so far as the Negro
race is concerned. Even though a diminution of climatic stimu-
lation should leave present temperate-zone nations at a lower

Offline PrometheusTopic starter

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Re: Climate Considered Especially in Relation to Man 1908/1918
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2022, 07:02:17 PM »

184
  energy level, they would still bc living on a higher plane than
would the tropical races. Negroes who migrate northward here
in America rapidly lose their high reproductivity, their birth
rate even falling below that of similar economie groups among
white residents.

The outlook is quite different, however, with respect to the
Mongoloid peoples. As the Western nations are subdued by
rising world temperatures and loss of cyclonic storminess, their
energy level will sink down nearer that of Japan and China.
The Oriental position will thus enjoy a relative improvement.
With the present rejuvenation China is enjoying from having
been pushed back into her more invigorating hinterland, she
may very well come forth as one of the world's great powers in
coming decades. Japan had her chance, but became too im-
patient of restraint and flew off into an orgy of conquest by
force. Let us hope and pray that realism, properly tinged with
altruism, will rule the course to be followed by the Big Three
groups at the peace table and in the decades to follow.

chapter 23
EPILOGUE

A person should free himself occasionally from
the humdrum details of daily life, focus his attention upon these
larger influences affecting his existence, and develop a better
appreciation of his own small place in the universe. The day’s
petty irritations and disappointments melt away into in-
significance as he merges his being into this celestial harmony
of mighty forces. The sim, moon, and beautiful planets travelling
along that much-used sky pathway all have their part in human
affairs. When viewed against the background of this outside
control, the doings of one’s neighbours or attempts to amass
earthly wealth lose much of their seeming importance. Great
consolation comes with the knowledge that other forces than
man’s own puny efforts are at work determining his fate.

My moments of keenest satisfaction and most complete
mental peace have been those when the grandeur of nature’s
artistry has cast its spell over me. Such was the case as I stood
on the Peking Wall—high above the teeming masses of China—
to view the gorgeous sunset colouring over the Western Hills;
also as I gazed across Lake Geneva from the pension balcony

185
  to watch Mount Blanc catch the final rays of the setting sun;
and as I sought a secluded spot on the ship’s deck in mid-
Pacific with almost the regularity of a sun worshipper to enjoy
the glories of sunrise and sunset across placid tropical waters.
Even as a child I wondered what influences were behind the
grandeur and beauty so often displayed in sky colouring. Now,
as an adult with some knowledge of what it all means, I can
sense in these physical forces the near presence of the real
Ruler of Creation.

Humble acknowledgment of one’s dependence upon these
directing cosmic influences can well replace much of the ego-
centric bigotry recent generations of people have developed.
In certain favoured climates of the earth man has indeed per-
formed great feats, especially through the stimulating cold of
the past few centuries; but with all his remarkable advances,
he should keep before him a ciear realization of the environ-
mental factors which have made his achievements possible—
and which may some day change him into a somewhat less
superior being. Humility is said to be good for the soul, and
here lies abundant cause for human humbleness. The energetic
man of stimulating regions should appreciate the good fortune
which placed him under such favourable circumstances. He
has no cause for egotism; instead he should give credit to the
natural forces which made possible his accomplishments,
remembering that climate makes the man.

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