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  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

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

  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.



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

  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

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

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

  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.

  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-

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

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

  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

  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

  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

  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


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

  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

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

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

  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

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

  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.



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

  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

  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

  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

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.


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.

  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

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

  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

  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.



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

  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-

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

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

  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

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.

  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

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

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

  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.


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

  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

  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

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

  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.



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

  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

  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

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

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

  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

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

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.


terranean countries are about on a par with those of our
Southern States bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Italy has
much the same latitude range as New England, but its
climate is more like that of Georgia. Most people think
of Tunis and Algiers as located in tropical heat—and so they
are—but their latitude differs little from that of St. Louis or

The Mediterranean region receives a moderate number of
Atlantic storms during the winter months, but depressive heat
rules constantly throughout the long summer just as in our
States on the Gulf of Mexico. Across West Central Europe, on
the other hand, storms coming in over the Gulf Stream bring
frequent weather changes throughout the year, moderating both
the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Toward the east of
Europe weather changes lessen, while seasonal contrasts are
exaggerated; both summer heat and winter cold become more
protracted and severe.

Seasonal extremes of heat and cold also occur over most of
Central Asia. Cold waves penetrate well down from the frozen
northern tundras, but their exit over the plains of India or
China is barred by lofty highlands. As a result, cyclonic stormi-
ness is low over Southern and eastern Asia and the climate is
monotonously regular. During the winters we spent in Peking
cold dry winds blew outward from the interior for weeks at
a time, with the barometer standing constantly high. The
winds were reversed through the summer months, as moist
tropical air flowed north-westward toward the superheated
interior. Those were the summer monsoon winds which lay
a blanket of depressing, moist heat over Japan and China every
year. Similar monsoon currents also flow up across India during
the summer months.

All Southern and eastern Asia is thus oppressed by severe
summer' heat, without cold stormy winters to counterbalance.
The result is a human inertia and energy level only slightly
better than the tropics permit. A few storms do generate on
the high slopes of the Himalayas and highlands of Tibet, follow-
ing down the Yangtze Valley and out over Southern Japan.
These help make the upland portions of China’s Yangtze Valley
one of the most stimulating parts of eastern Asia.

Southern Australia and New Zealand are among the earth’s
most favoured regions so far as climatic effects directly upon
man are concemed. Summer heat and winter cold are moderated
by nearby oceans; cyclonic storms bring ample weather variety
at all seasons. Health hazards of winter are much less than in

  the northern United States, where severe cold and the year’s
most intense storminess bring a sharp peak in respiratory
diseases and heart failure. Central Australia, except along the
eastern fringe, is very sparsely inhabited; and in the north,
tropical heat exerts its typical effects. Man’s progress in Southern
Australia during the last century has been astounding, but the
favourable land area is so small that no really large population
mass can ever be properly supported. On the streets of London
one has difïiculty in differentiating the Australians from the
Americans or Canadians except by their speech; all have that
springy step and keenness of eye found only in people from
really invigorating climates.

Truly favourable climates are thus seen to be limited to only
a few areas of the earth and to perhaps a third of its human
population. North America has the largest and most in-
vigorating of these regions, with West Central Europe a close
second. It is probably not by chance that people of these two
regions so dominate world affairs. In them energy and initiative
run high, combined with a restlessness which is forever seeking
new outlets of expression. At the opposite pole of human
energetics lie the broad expanses of tropical lowlands. In them
another third of the earth’s population is held captive by the
insurmountable difïiculty of losing body heat. This third of
mankind seems to exist only for exploitation by the energetic
third. In between lie the people of the middle third, living under
climates which hold them to a neutral course. China, Southern
South America, South Africa, and the Mediterranean countries
seem destined to pursue a middle course in human affairs. As
for Russia and Japan, these nations are at the peak of their
military successes—one in holding off and then driving back
supposedly invincible Nazi armies, the other in sweeping rapidly
throughout the Far East and toward India. But only time can
teil whether they will have sufficiënt climate-given energy to
keep up their successes.

The North American and European stimulating areas are
also blessed by a wealth of natural resources for man’s use in
his ceaseless activities. Not content with their home resources,
however, these energetic people also reach out to exploit the
earth’s natural wealth in other regions where the native resi-
dents are too listless to do so themselves. World dominance is
thus firmly based on the driving force of climate. Were the
storms of Central Asia suddenly shifted across the plains of
China, the people of that great nation would in all likelihood
become more prominent in world affairs, make better use of

  their own great natural resources, and drive the Japanese out
of their country in short order.

chapter 19


JVEVOLUTION and conquest have always been considered
to spring from the deep inner urgings of people: in the one case
from the desire for freedom from tyranny and in the other from
the desire of a few men for power. Such is really the case, but
the development and growth of these urgings are linked in
a most surprising fashion to the rise and fall of the mercury in
thermometers. Stormy cold has driven oppressed people into
open revolt time after time, just as enervating heat has had
them pliant under the oppressor’s heel. Group after group of
the world’s people have been pushed out on to the roads of
conquest and expansion by optimal climatic conditions, only
to be halted or forced back into oblivion again by less favourable
temperatures. History’s most vivid example of this is frequently
pointed to to-day because of the Nazis’ experiences with Soviet
winter and Soviet man-power; I refer to Napoleon’s attempted
conquest of the vast Russian nation.

The French military leader, turning back in 1812 from his
unsuccessful attempts to invade England, began mighty
preparations for conquest of the one Continental power still
beyond his grasp. Little did he realize that the intense summer
heat and benumbing winter cold of the Russian plains would
offer a more effective obstacle to his ambition than any human
force which had yet opposed him. Prevailing westerly winds
coming in from the Atlantic Ocean provide western Europe
with an equable climate—cool summers and mild winters. In
Russia, on the other hand, summers are often severely hot and
the winters long and cold.

The Grand Army with which Napoleon began his invasion
was a motley mixture, drawn from all the countries of Europe.
None too well welded together, it was by no means the compact
striking force he was accustomed to using in his campaigns of
conquest. Quick manoeuvres and surprise blows were his chief

  battle assets, but this army was inclined to be cumbersome and
sluggish. With it he crossed the Niemen River on June 24-th
(1812) to begin his most disastrous venture.

No sooner was he on Russian soil than his army became
enveloped in the first severe heat wave of that fatal summer.
Men died of heatstroke by the hundreds, while it is said that
fully a third of his cavalry mounts were lost in the first ten days.
Green forage was supposed to have produced the colic by which
the horses died, but the same heat which killed the men was
more likely responsible, for colic often accompanies heat
prostration. Mobility for an army in those days depended upon
live, healthy horses; without them the transport of equipment
and supplies bogged down and the quick-striking cavalry lost
its value. Not for Napoleon were the oil-burning monsters of
Hitler, which provide unlimited horse-power regardless of
weather—as long as the oil supply lasts.

Napoleon’s first brush with the Russians disclosed the dis-
astrous effects of the ten days of heat. Both men and horses
moved sluggishly, causing failure of his battle strategy. Time
after time through the summer this loss of mobility in his army
permitted the Russian forces to escape the traps he set for them.
The Cossack ponies, on the other hand, were inured to such
weather and allowed the Russians to harass Napoleon’s forces
without often being pressed into pitched battle.

To-day we know that severe heat quickly devitalizes people
and animals, lowering their internal combustion rate, reducing
the amount of energy available for action, causing the blood
pressure to fall and the individual to become in every way more
like the easy-going tropical native. The heat did far more during
that summer to drag down Napoleon’s forces than did Russian
arms. Weakened by the long summer, he finally came to actual
defeat on the field of battle and began his ill-fated retreat back
to the Niemen. Benumbing Russian cold then came in November
to complete the destruction of his Grand Army, turning the
retreat of his ragged forces into a pitiful rout from which only
a handful survived. It was severe heat which began the ruin of
his Russian venture and freezing cold which gave it the finishing

The hand of temperature has been evident at other times
through human history. People have rebelled against despotic
repression during years of cold and have been more inclined to
yield to the grasping power of tyrants when prolonged warmth
has drained away their vitality and energy. The French Revo-
lution itself had this temperature basis. Thermometer records at

  Paris are not available for the eighteenth and first half of the
nineteenth centuries, but at Zwannenberg (less than 300 miles
north) monthly means are on record back to 1743. During the
34 years from 1750 to 1783 only 8 scattered years had
mean annual temperatures below normal, and in each by
only a fraction of a degree. In 1784, however, there began
a prolonged cold period which reached ap. all-time low in 1789.
It was in this year that the French Revolution broke out. For
the 33 years beginning with 1784, only seven intermittent
years had temperatures above the average level and then only
slightly so. Thus the French Revolution and period of
Napoleonic conquest took place in the only period of pro-
longed cold in almost a century.

In 9 of the 12 years following 1816, however, warmth
again prevailed. Most of the liberties won during the revo-
lution were lost in these years of shift back toward despotism.
Severe cold and storms returned again for a brief stay over
Europe in 1829 an^ early 1830, which was followed by an
outburst of revolutionary activity over almost the whole
continent. Vigorous but short-lived revolts occurred from
France to Poland. Warmth quickly returned to quell their
ardour, however, with only one year in the next 17 below
normal. Again in 1848 a year of severe cold and storms caused
smouldering discontent to flame forth into another wave of
uprisings over the continent.

The history óf temperature effects antedates by many
centuries the invention of the thermometer and the .existence
of carefully kept scientific records. The high civilization of
early Babylonia flourished at the head of the Persian Gulf
from about 2900 to 1750 b.c.; that of Troy rosé about 2500 b.c.
and declined a thousand years later. The period from 2500 to
1500 B.c. coincides with one of the millenniums of cold men-
tioned in a preceding chapter. It was followed by prolonged
warmth during which little of note was accomplished by man.
About 750 b.c., however, the Assyrian Empire blossomed
forth (750-612) followed by the Second Babylonian Empire
of the Ghaldeans (612-538 b.c.) and the Persian Empire

The rise of early Greece also began to gain headway about
750 b.c., with her golden age continuing to 390 b.c. Macedonia
rosé to the north as Greece declined, and slightly later Rome
took over leadership from a still more northerly climate. There
were thus two millenniums of ancient grandeur: In the first,
civilization reached its highest development well south on the

  Persian Gulf and in the southem iEgean Islands; in the second,
high tide again returned to the people around the Persian Gulf,
but important developments also took place farther to the
north-west—in Greece, Macedonia, and Italy. Each of these
cold periods of high tide in accomplishment were followèd by
centuries of stagnation and confusion during which man seemed
unable to make any real headway. The last of these periods
of heat and futility has aptly been called the Dark Age.

Frigid surroundings are as inimical to human accomplishment
as enervating heat. With the prolonged warmth starting in the
fifth century a.d., the people of central and northern Europe
began a wild ferment of activity. Relieved of the benumbing
cold which legend records for preceding centuries, they now
multiplied rapidly and pushed southward and to the west in
ever-increasing numbers. They early battered down the gates
of Rome and overran the broad empire Caesar’s legions had
conquered. Even the people of Scandinavia blossomed
forth during the warmest centuries of this period, sending
forth the Norsemen and Vikings to conquer and colonize the
coast of Europe as far as Italy and westward to the New

Optimal temperature conditions seemed to prevail farthest
north during the ninth and tenth centuries, for it was then that
the people from Scandinavia colonized Greenland and Iceland
and left their mark on so many points along the coast of Europe.
During this period wave after wave of immigrants from northern
Europe settled in the British Isles and helped give the population
its present varied character. As tempcratures began lo recede
agaiq in the later* Dark Age centuries, the exodus from northern
Europe slowed down, returning cold subdued the Vikings, and
other Powers slowly emerged in middle European latitudes.
Another permanent north-westward shift had taken place, how-
ever, for in the new cold epoch vigorous young nations of central
and western Europe took over from decadent Mediterranean
peoples the torch of civilization.

The pathway of Atlantic storms, which in early times was
down the Mediteranean basin and on across Asia Minor,
shifted far northward to Scandinavia in the warmth of the
Viking centuries, and then settled back across the British Isles
and west-central Europe for the centuries since the time of the
Renaissance. Early in the sixteenth century nations under its
influence began a remarkable period of exploration and con-
quest into all the far corners of the earth. They ruthlessly
exploited any wealth found and later started colonies which

  grew rapidly into new centres of population. Historical develop-
ments of this last cold period have dealt predominantly with
the doings of people living in the cooler half of the temperate

Asiatic history, although less well studied than that of Europe,
has shown similarly timed undulations. Vague records of high
developments in Southern China coincide in time approximately
with the early civilizations at the head of the Persian Gulf,

4,000   to 5,000 years ago. Advanced civilizations existed in
Siam, Indo-China, and India during the early Greek period,
although their architectural remains stand to-day in an en-
vironment of people submerged in tropical lethargy. The Great
Wall of China was constructed through the centuries of Roman
decay in the West to hold back the increasing pressure of
northern Asiatic barbarians. Shortly after the period of Viking
conquests in Europe, Mongol hordes swept down over China
from the north much as the barbarians of northern Europe had
somewhat earlier harassed the Romans. The celebrated Ming
Dynasty brought China one of her golden ages at about the
same time the Renaissance and revival of learning awakened
European peoples.

The sway of temperature, so evident through the intermediate
and more distant past, has again come into prominence in
recent years. Rising warmth over the earth is upsetting the
comparative equilibrium recent generations have enjoyed.
World power seems to be embarking again on its course toward
more northern regions, with the two greatest of the northern
giants now locked in deadly struggle for supremacy.

Personal liberty and the democratie way of life reached a high
peak in early Greece; they were lost in the autocratie despotism
of the Dark Ages, but achieved a slow recovery following the
European Renaissance. It was perhaps at the time of Wilson’s
visit to Europe in 1920 that the democratie ideal of personal
freedom reached its widest acceptance. Self-determination of
national groups and the right to a representative type of govern-
ment was insisted upon by Wilson as a basis for future world
security. For a while it looked as though real altruism
might be given a chance in world affairs through the
acceptance of these principles and establishment of the League
of Nations.

This optimistic high tide soon passed to ebb, however, as the
rise of one dictator after another indicated a very evident turn
back toward despotism. The turn gained initial 'momentum
during the post-war years of European upset and economie

  depression, with unseasonable warmth widely prevailing. Con-
ditions steadied down through the more prosperous and colder
last half of the decade. Even more excessive warmth began in
1929, however, initiating the severe and prolonged economie
depression which held the whole world in its grip for several
years. With the discouragement of these hard times, people
again seemed willing to listen to the glowing demagogie promises
of would-be dictators.

It was during this period of severe ebb-tide in the morale of
western nations that Japan thought she saw her chance for
imperial expansion in the Oriënt. Her great dream of empire
had blossomed under the stimulus of subnormal temperatures
many years before. Nipponese thermometer records go back
only to 1879 (at Nagasaki). Up until 1899 temperatures there
were above the long-term average, but from 1899 to 1914 every
single year was colder than normal. During this period she embarked
upon her career of imperial expansion, fighting Russia for
control of Southern Manchuria and in 1914 grabbing all German
possessions in the Far East. Some of the latter she was forced to
give up in the Versailles peace settlement. Again in 1925 she
demanded valuable rights and concessions in China, but was
baulked by vigilant Western powers.


Cyclic fluctuation is the keynote from beginning to end.
Shortest of these cycles are day-to-night variations. Next longer
are weather changes brought by passing cyclonic storms. Then
come the seasonal changes of each year and the more irregular
alterations occurring every few years in an indefinite association
with the eleven-year sunspot cycle. Marked shiftings covering
several centuries have taken place, but the most regularly
recurring ones of longer duration have been the 2,000-year
cycles df alternating cold and warmth in evidence since the last
ice age. Most striking of all, of course, were the alternating ice
ages and interglacial warmth.

This climatic habitat in which we live and by which we are
so dominated is thus seen to be in a most unstable state. One
year we are pushed forward into restless strivings by cold and
storms. The next may bring debilitating heat and physical

  lethargy. Sometimes there are almost as marked differences in
the intensity of climatic stimulation from season to season or
from one year to another as there are in different regions.
A long summer of severe heat in Cincinnati may leave the
city’s residents with a distinct turn toward tropical characteristics,
but a winter of prolonged cold again prods them into energetic
activity. Our responsiveness to this fluctuating environment
raises several social and economie problems which deserve
careful consideration against the background of climatic in-
fluence here painted. These will be considered in the following

chapter 18


Stormy weather has been held responsible for many
of our respiratory and rheumatic ills; however, atmospheric
turbulence has its good points as well as its bad. Frequent
change gives a wholesome and stimulating variety to life, in-
ducing in people a restlessness which—when coupled with
coolness and a high energy level—drives them on to build sky-
scrapers, set up great factories, and pursue other energetic
activities. There is little monotony, either climatic, mental, or
physical, in such surroundings; while certain types of disease
may abound, health in general is most buoyant and life most
interesting. The men dwelling amid such influences are the ones
who have dominated the world in the past and who have left
their home countries to build empires in distant lands.

Storms sweeping across Indiana were among the most potent
factors influencing my childhood years. To me they represented
the real might of Nature as they came from the South-west to
darken the entire sky. Excitement and sometimes childish terror
acconipanied the thunderous tumult of their passing, while
deepest awe and exultation came over me as I watched the vivid
colouring made by the setting sun against the receding cloud
masses. Even as a boy they interested me by their definite
pattern of approach and passage. Surely, I thought, only the
most supreme and powerful ruler of the universe could keep
harmony and order in the presence of such violent, raging forces.

  City residents miss much of this closeness with Nature. For
them, with attention focused upon crowded humanity and its
doings, such disturbances only bring inconvenience and inter-
ference with plans. Even the glorious after-coloüring in an
evening sky often goes unheeded.

As I grew older I learned that various parts of the earth differ
greatly in their storminess, that few regions can compare with
the middle-west and western plains of America, and that the
storms do indeed follow a quite definite pattern. Across tem-
perate lands they travel mainly eastward, with the low-pressure
centre preceded and followed by a “high” and cool clear
weather. Warm moist winds rush in toward the “low” centre
and then spiral upward clockwise, being chilled as they rise and
precipitating their moisture upon the earth beneath. Baro-
metric pressure falls and temperatures rise as such low-pressure
centres approach a given locality. Those are the weather periods
which most disturb body function in men and animals. As they
pass on, pressure begins to rise, temperatures fali, the skies clear,
and life assumes a more cheerful aspect.

During peacetime ijiany city newspapers printed daily weather
maps, recognizing an increased reader interest in weather and
the behaviour of the elements. War censorship now prevents the
publication of these maps or the broadcasting of extensive
weather reports, because such information would be extremely
valuable to our enemies in plotting the changes coming their
way. Plans for the dash of the German warships Gneisenau and
Scharnhorst from their Brest berth up through the English Channel
were no doubt based upon reports sent in from scouting planes
and ships out in the Atlantic Ocean. With a period of bad
weather and winter fog in the offing, details of the move were
worked out in such a way that the English were relatively help-
less when they finally spotted the ships through a break in the
Channel fog. Swarms of German fighter planes had been held
in readiness for air coverage just in case the fog shöuld lift.
Accurate prediction depends on a thorough knowledge of world
trends in air-mass movements, and the lefcs the Nazis know
about such trends around North America, the less accurate
will be their timing of strategie moves.

As far as possible, you should familiarize yourself with weather
maps, for they are extremely important in your life. Observing
them from day to day, you can see the “highs” and “lows”
marching across the continent, bringing with them the sharp
alterations in weather which give spice and variety to life. Many
of the high-pressure centres come down from the Canadian

  North-west and turn eastward across the Mississippi Basin at
various latitudes, some of them even going down across
Oklahoma and Texas to pass out eastward over the Gulf of
Mexico. Other “high” centres come in from the Pacific coast at
middle latitudes and bring with them less vigorous weather

Not all temperate-zone lands are equally affected by these
eastward-travelling storms; they are probably most vigorous and
reach farthest south in North America. Across Europe they
follow a more northerly course, entering mainly across the
British Isles and countries of West Central Europe. In both
northern and Southern hemispheres they are responsible for the
. storminess of the mariners’ “roaring forties,” but in the south
these latitudes involve relatively small amounts of land surface—
only the Southern half of Chile and Argentina, the Southern
fringe of Australia, and all of New Zealand. South Africa is
little affected.

Storms entering across Europe seem to be dissipated in the
great spaces of Soviet Russia. Siberia has violent weather
changes, but its storm tracks have not yet been plotted. In
eastern Asia less violent disturbances generate on the highlands
of Tibet and Mongolia, then sweep down across China and
Japan during the winter season. Everywhere these temperate-
zone storms are more frequent and vigorous in winter,
penetrating closer to sub-tropical latitudes. In the summer they
become fewer, travel more slowly, and follow a more northerly
course. In North America this seasonal difference means that
the South has stormy weather during the winter, but is blanketed
by stagnant moist warmth through the long summer.
Even in the North, summer storminess is only half that of the

Another type of disturbance originates over ocean waters in
the outer portions of the tropics, largely between latitudes
io° and 20° and particularly in the Indian and western portions
of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These are deep low-pressure
centres which—and this is important—are not preceded or
followed by corresponding “highs” as they travel westward
over tropical waters. In the Atlantic they lash the West Indies,
Gulf of Mexico, and south-eastem coast of North America,
many of them swerving north-eastward up the coast sometimes
as far as New England. Here they are known as hurricanes.
Over Oriental waters and the Indian Ocean similar disturbances
are called typhoons. From the Pacific Ocean they sweep west-
ward across the Philippines, then turn north up the China coast

  and out north-eastward across Japan. These tropical storms are
sharply seasonal, occurring largely from September to December
in the northern hemisphere. In the Bay of Bengal they are
particularly violent for this brief period each year.

No stimulation attends the passage of such “low” centres,
since they are not followed by “highs.” Populations lying in
their path are wracked by the falling-pressure effects but benefit
by no stimulating coolness such as comes in the wake of
temperate-zone storms.

Over most large tropical land masses the weather is
monotonously even, with never more than a few degrees of
temperature change from day to day—or throughout the
centuries, for that matter—and with negligible pres6ure variation.
Rains are sharply seasonal; in fact the wet and dry seasons are
the only ones spoken of in tropical lands. This type of weather,
non-stormy and sharply limited as to rainy season, also extends
well outward into certain parts of the temperate zones. It pre-
vails in Mexico and the south-western United States, in the
Mediterranean countries of Europe and Africa, and to a con-
siderable degree in much of China.

Considering North America in greater detail, we find that
storms are most frequent across the northern half of the United
States. Weather changes are most violent on the western plains,
with the sharpest and widest fluctuations in pressure and
temperature as the storms pass by. Farther east the changes are
less abrupt. Daily variations in the maximum and minimum
temperature readings throughout the year give sharp emphasis
to this greater turbulence at Bismarck as compared with New
York City.

Each line on the accompanying storm-track maps indicates
the course followed across the continent by a high-pressure
centre, but it should be kept in mind that these moving air
masses are of enormous size—often 1,500 to 2,000 miles in
diameter—so that wide sections of the country are affected on
each side of the moving centre. The south-western United
States, however, is seldom bothered by the centres sweeping
down east of the Rocky Mountains, even during the more
turbulent winter season. A few of the winter “high” centres pass
down and out over the Gulf of Mexico, bringing freezing weather
even to the Southern tips of Florida and Texas.

One such “high” swept down over the Gulf of Mexico late in
January of 1935 while the ship on which I was Philippine-bound
was travelling up the south-western coast of Mexico. As we
started across the Gulf of Tehuantepec a terrible gale struck us

  from the north, buffering the ship severely for several hours
until we reached the western edge of the gulf. The ship’s captain
explained to me that such gales were frequent in winter, when-
ever a “high” settled in the Gulf of Mexico. Mountains extend
throughout the length of Mexico except in the low-lying Isthmus
of Tehuantepec, and over this low isthmus the cold, heavy air
of the “high” centre escapes southward to produce gales such
as we encountered.

Storms and the variety of weather changes they bring serve
as foreground details of the environmental picture, while the
more sedate features of climate provide the dominant design
and background. We may be pushed this way and that by short-
cycle weather changes, with our bodily and mental functions
badly disarranged. It is climate, however, which determines the
general energy and vitality level upon which we live. Mean tem-
peratures prevailing at different latitudes out from the Equator
are of profound importance to man, since they decide the ease
with which he can lose his own body heat and hence the rate of
combustion allowed in his tissues.

Tropical lowlands everywhere are blanketed by a continuous
moist heat which makes an active life impossible. Natives of
such regions are sluggish or lazy not as much from choice as
from necessity; if allowed greater ease of heat loss, they soon
become more active. This was well illustrated by the hundred
Philippine women wrapping bubble gum in a Manila factory,
who turned out 30 per cent. more work after the manager
installed cooling equipment to provide a 65° F. temperature
in the wrapping-room.

The tropical blanket of moist heat often extends only two or
three thousand feet above the ground, giving way rather sharply
to cold upper air. It is in this border that clouds form wherever
an upward current carries the moist surface air through into
the cold zone. Going aloft in an aeroplane, you suddenly leavc
the depressing surface heat as you pass above the cloud layer.
Tropical upland regions are thus distinctly more stimulating
than the lowlands, and the natives readily show the difference
by their activity and alertness.

I had not realized just how sharp this contrast might be until
an aeroplane trip transported me suddenly from the enervating
Manila heat up into the mountain coolness at Baguio. From
there I went by car through the Bontoc rice-terrace region and
on up to the Igorot country, where, at 7,000 feet, ice occasionally
formed at night. Up there the midday sun was warm, but
blankets were always needed at night. The natives walked or

  trotted with quick springy step, were keen-eyed and stockily
built as compared with the more slender, slouching residents
of the hot lowlands.

According to legend, a large group of lepers had escaped into
this mountain region back in early Spanish days and had lost
their disease in the more invigorating mountain atmosphere.
Whether or not the legend has any basis in fact, it is true that
the disease is very much less frequent in the mountain provinces
than among the lowland people. Going back down again into
the Manila heat, I appreciated more clearly what sharp
differences in ease of body heat loss might mean in terms of
human energy and vitality. The Manila people now seemed
well justified in their praise of the Baguio air.

What such differences mean in military terms was shown in
the case of the highland Igorots, who took such vigorous part in
the defence of Luzon when the Japanese invaded the Philippines.
They were also one of the most powerful groups in carrying on
guerrilla warfare and underground activities after Luzon was
lost. As the war continues in tropical countries, such peoples
will undoubtedly continue to make things as unpleasant as
possible for invading armies and they will be able to do so
because of the driving forces of their native climates. It was in
the high Igorot country that the Filipinos carried out the most
active and prolonged resistance to American forces following
the Spanish-American War.

Unfortunately, highland regions within the tropics are not
extensive or capable of supporting large populations. The Andes
Highlands of South America and the Abyssinian Plateau of
Africa offer temperate climates amid the morass of tropical heat,
and on them man has at times done well. No major storm
changes come to disturb their weather, however, or to add spice
and variety to life. People living at Bogota in the northern
Andes give glowing accounts of their climate’s perfection—
never too hot or too cold, always just right—but they also teil
of frequent nervous disorders during the long cloudless months
of the dry season and of an intense desire for weather change.
For them it is often a relief to spend a few weeks down in the
lowland heat.

South America is not particularly blessed, climatically speak-
ing, except for the Andes Highland valleys—where ancient
Indian civilizations reached such high stages of development
before being despoiled by the Spanish conquerors. Only the
Southern half of Argentina and Chile are favoured by temperate-
zone coolness and storms. To be sure, moderate relief from


lowland heat is afforded in the Brazilian Highlands along the
eastern ooast, but throughout the jungles of the Orinoco,
Amazon, and upper Parana basins debilitating heat holds man
down to a life of tropical lassitude.

As a whole, Africa is in a similar situation. It has little to
recommend it in a climatic sense. Monotonous heat is the
dominant factor from Cape Town to Cairo, unrelieved any-
where by major cyclonic storminess. The Southern portion is
a tableland standing 2,000 to 4,000 feet high with its elevation
giving some relief from the heat, but only the Southern tip gets
much weather effect from the cyclonic storms travelling east-
ward a few hundred miles farther south. Winter brings
comfortable coolness to both Southern plateau and northern
desert, yet nowhere on the continent are conditions favourable
to any great human progressiveness. South Africa is handicapped
least, but its climate has little of the invigoration which pushes
man forward in central latitudes of North America or in West
Central Europe. Through the continent’s equatorial jungles
human existence is held to the lowest possible level by steaming

In sub-tropical portions of the temperate zones, summer
warmth is fully as enervating as in regions nearer the Equator,
but a welcome relief is afforded by winter coolness. Life goes
on at a more active level during the cooler months, but slumps
back into tropical lethargy as summer heat returns.

Man has his best chance to live a highly vital and energetic
existence in middle temperate latitudes of the earth. Summer
heat is usually brief and interspaced with cool periods, winter
cold is not too great, and ideal temperatures are brought by
the spring and autumn months. Across North America at
latitudes from 350 to 50° these stimulating temperatures push
man into an energetic restlessness and a great impatience with
the slower life of tropical lands. From Cape Hatteras to the
mouth of the St. Lawrence, from Memphis to Winnipeg, and
from Los Angeles to Vancouver, human energy and initiative
rise to the highest level. Frequent storm changes in the weather
and wide seasonal variations leave few dull intervals for
Americans of these latitudes.

Best temperatures for man fall farther Europe, at
latitudes of about 450 to 6o°. This is owing to the warming
effect of the Gulf Stream as it flows across toward Iceland, and
also to the more northerly course of the storms as they travel
eastward over the continent between the Alps and Southern
Scandinavia. Temperatures and storminess in the Medi-

  '   I


All the evidence of this chapter emphasizes the intricate
meshing of environmental factors which makes human life
what it is. It could not exist unless the earth had been able to
hold an atmosphere, unless the earth were tilted on its axis at
just. the right angle. Variations in atmospheric composition,
some of them extremely small, would kill man and all his fellow
creatures, while the air itself is just dense enough to protect
people from the potentially lethal radiations of outer space.
The earth’s great blanket is under continuous bombardment by
these radiations, as well as by the radiations resulting from
sunspots, and their effect plays an important role in the weather
which in turn affects man’s activity and health. Since the sun-
spots themselves seem largely controlled by the positions of the
planets, life—and more particularly human life—is seen to be
part of a vast organic unit, a uilit which includes at least the entire
solar system. Whether celestial bodies outside our own tiny
system also influence our lives has not yet been studied, but
this possibility cannot be excluded.

Without subscribing to the unfounded tenets of astrology,
which hold that the detailed events of every person’s life are
pre-ordained by the positions of planets at his birth, we now
have a scientifically discovered and direct chain of influences
meshing our daily lives into the larger forces of our own solar
universe. The chain cannot be over-emphasized; the planets
in their shifting positions around the sun cause the sunspots to
wax and wane. As a result there arise variations in solar radia-

  tions to the earth and changes in temperature and storminess.
These weather changes, both short-cycle and over longer periods,
markedly influence our body functioning.



Short-cycle weather changes and the slower
alternations of unseasonable warmth and cold every few years
are rather well explained on the basis of solar-system forces.
Our knowledge is inadequate, however, to explain other changes
extending through the centuries or covering thóusancfs of years.
Most definite of all climatic fluctuations were the slow undula-
tions from one ice age to another. In the most recent of these
the North Polar ice cap spread down over North America as
far as the present courses of the Missouri and Ohio Rivers.
These rivers were raging torrents as they carried away the
melting ice and snow from the ice cap’s fringe. The Ohio River
cut several different channels for itself here at Gincinnati as the
glacier edge alternately advanced and receded through that

Several times these ice ages have returned to the earth,
causing polar cold to prevail far down into what are now tem-
perate regions and compressing the tropics into a much narrower
belt. In the intervening warm periods tropical warmth has
expanded outward toward the poles and the ice caps may have
completely disappeared. It is estimated that only about 30,000
years have elapsed since the last ice age was at its crest. Where
Cincinnati now sits, with its mild winters and hot summers, was
then a grinding, crackling glacier front with a climate similar
to that of Southern Greenland to-day.

Although men were present here on earth long before the last
ice age, their numbers were small and there is little evidence
from which to construct a story of their activities. Since humanity
has actually stepped out of the shadows only within the last

10,000   years, we can devote chief attention to climatic fluctua-
tions within that period. They have been present, but in a much
less drastic form than the changes from ice age to inter-glacial

  warmth. Evidence left by receding ice caps and glaciers, by silt
deposits along rivers‘fed from melting ice, by salt layers along
inland lakes, by the growth rings of our giant redwoods in the
South-west—all these and information gleaned from recorded
history point to several prolonged cold periods altemating with
centuries of warmth.

Through the last 10,000 years these slow undulations have
occurred with fair regularity, the glaciers and ice caps receding
rapidly for a thousand years or so and then halting or even
advancing somewhat for the next thousand. It was this stair-step
recession which left the long moraines of piled-up gravel and
boulders at intervals over the course of the receding ice cap here
in America. To-day the last ice age is represented only by
isolated mountain glaciers and by the small ice sheets
covering most of Greenland and Antarctica. Another cycle
or two of recurring warmth may well cause their complete

The last millennium of warmth feil within the time of recorded
history, covering the Dark Age period from the fall of Rome to
the Renaissance (from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries a.d.).
During this warmth cereal grains were regularly grown and
ripened in Iceland and wine-making was carried on in parts of
Great Britain where it has not been possible to ripen grapes
through the succeeding centuries. The shores of Iceland were
largely free of ice packs for the finst several hundred years after
its settlement, but since the fourteenth century its northern
shore has again been icebound and its climate has become too
rigorous for erop raising.

The climate of Greenland in the ninth and tenth centuries,
when the Norse settlements flourished there, apparently differed
from the climate of more recent times. Early in the eleventh
century, however, the colonies rapidly declined, with increasing
evidence of rickets in the skeletons of those buried during the
settlements’ decline. The dead were buried deep in the unfrozen
earth during the ninth and tenth centuries, but after that the
graves gradually became shallower as the summer thaws pene-
trated less deeply.

Many of those Norse bodies in Greenland were found almost
perfectly preserved when rising world temperatures had again
thawed out the earth to make their excavation possible a few
years ago. Recent excavations in earth which had been solidly
frozen for almost a thousand years have given us a glimpse of
those settlements as they declined in the oncoming cold. In that
ancient warmth the people carried on extensive cattle-raising—

  an activity quite impossible in the Greenland of more recent

The scanty records indicate terrible winters of snow and ice
in northem Europe preceding the Dark Age warmth, while the
civilizations of early Greece and Rome were flourishing in regions
which are now too enervating for sustained effort. Egyptian
writings of those centuries teil about winds and storms which can
only 'mean that the cyclonic storms to-day travelling eastward
over Central Europe then passed down the Mediterranean Basin
and on across Asia Minor. Palestine' and the other eastern
Mediterranean countries had a more copious rainfall, better
distributed through the year, than has been the case in modern

The heat of the Dark Ages was at its worst about a.d. 850.
By a.d* 1000 there were evidences in Greenland of returning
cold, and by a.d. 1400 the ice packs had again closed in on
northem Iceland. Through the centuries since the time of the
Renaissance and the revival of learning, cold has largely pre-
vailed. Actual thermometer records go back only two hundred
years, but within that time they show lowest temperatures to
have occurred around 1850, about a thousand years after the
peak of Dark Age heat.

What about the trends of modern times? The records definitely
show that temperatures over the earth have been rising almost
universally for the last eighty years or so, slowly at first but
much more rapidly in recent years and especially during the
last twenty years. Climates have indeed altered since Grand-
father’s day. The winters are milder and the summers hotter.
My father in his later years often mentioned the rigours of his
boyhood winters, contrasting them with the milder tempera-
tures of the twenties and early thirties before his death in 1933.
Even in my own childhood and youth the silky crunch of sub-
zero snow was encountered many times each winter, whereas
now the blankets of snow are wet and sloshy.

Up until very recent years everyone ridiculed the idea of
climatic change. It was claimed that people in later life would
remember more vividly the extremely cold spells, but forget
the milder winters which had failed to leave so strong an im-
print. False impressions of this kind are known to be fostered by
such tricks of memory, so the matter was always treated as
a joke. Ellsworth Huntington and certain other investigators
had great difficulty getting even scientific people to believe their
evidence of past fluctuations. Meteorologists, however, finally
began examining world temperature records of past decades.

  The facts revealed by such examination quickly dissipated all
opposition, for they showed beyond doubt that the winters ot
Grandfather’s day really were colder; mean temperatures were
lower and the cold waves more severe and frequent. The
temperature rise is by no means a steady, even one; wide
changes occur with the eleven-year sunspot cycies. But the cold
phase of each succeeding cycle is a little less cold, and each
warm phase is a little warmer.

When we consider what this rise means to us, we come face
to face with a situation emphasized in the last chapter: Man
exists solely because of a fortunate balance of Chemical and
physical factors in his environment. A mere io° F. rise in
tropical temperatures would make life practically impossible for
him and all other warm-blooded animals whenever humidity
accompanied the heat. In my experimental hot room I have
found 90°-9i° F., with 60 per cent. water saturation of the air,
to be the highest level at which warm-blooded animals can live
without a sharp rise in death rate and cómplete loss of repro-
ductive capacity. On several occasions the electric Controls have
failed to operate and temperatures of 97°-98° F. have wiped
out my whole hot-room animal colony within a few hours.

Severe summer heat waves sometimes leave us with an
exceedingly narrow margin of safety even here in middle
temperate America. When heatstroke cases begin to appear in
the hospital, a rise of another 50 F. in air temperatures would
produce a holocaust of deaths. In the summer of 1934, Death
had whole population masses almost within his grasp as
temperatures in middle United States latitudes soarcd past
the ioo° F. level for the daytime maximum. Cattle, horses,
hogs, dogs, birds—all were dying or endangered along with

While a rise of io° F. in earth temperatures would render the
tropical lowlands uninhabitable, a fall of io° F. below present
levels would bring on another ice age and bury large Con-
tinental areas under miles of snow and ice. This happened
several times in the past, blotting out whole species of animal
life. Humanity was then scarce and even in the most propitious
climates led a furtive existence of exposure to the elements.
To-day mankind is numerous and has encroached into the
regions of climatic extremes where existence is sorely handi-
capped. Severe climatic change might well wipe man out in
such marginal zones. Not so many thousands of years ago polar
cold congealed American life well below the Ohio and Missouri
river latitudes, for these rivers marked the Southern boundary

  of the ice sheet. It is difficult indeed to imagine Kentucky with
Greenland’s icy cold, but such was then the case.

Man’s chief enemies—aside from his own fellow men—are
the innumerable hosts of bacteria and other micro-organisms
lurking everywhere around him. Many bacteria are ffiendly,
performing functions essential for our welfare. The unfriendly
ones are largely those which reproduce and do best at or near
body temperature (98° F.); they thus thrive best in the tropical
moist heat which is most depressive to our own tissue vitality.
Any considerable rise in earth temperatures would thus also
upset the balance between us and our bacterial foes, increasing
their advantages in the struggle. Conditions would become
more propitious for their growth in food and water outside the
body, while our resistance to their invasive attacks would be
still further weakened. Eventual elimination of the human race
may well take place through the attacks of these swarming
billions of microscopie invaders.

A rise in earth temperatures and further outward expansion
of the broad belt of tropical heat would also bring still another
increase in human handicaps. As the B vitamin requirement is
so much higher in tropical heat, we would need a food supply
richer in these elements; but meat animals grow poorly in the
heat and yield meat deficiënt in these vitamin catalysts. The
cereal grains, our other important B vitamin source, also do
poorly in hot climates. So here would be an additional de-
vitalizing factor puliing man down in a world of even moderately
rising temperatures.

Of course, a io° F. change is not likely to occur universally,
but the dangers of such a change will probably exist to a smaller
degree as the earth’s temperatures slowly rise. It has been
estimated that a rise of only 2° F. in over-all earth temperatures
would clear the polar seas of all ice and raise the oceans’ level
about 150 feet. Dr. Arthur P. Coleman of the Royal Ontario
Museum in Toronto has drawn a vivid word painting of the
result: “With a little imagination, one can picture Oslo or
Rio de Janeiro, seaports with high ground in the rear to which
to retreat, as sending palatial holiday cruisers to see New York’s
deserted skyscrapers rising as steep-walled bird rocks from
a shallow sea

Real-estate owners need not worry for the time being, for
this is still a possibility of the distant future. Temperature rises
of two degrees and more have occurred in restricted regions of
the earth but, luckily for us, not for the entire globe as a whole.
Still, these changes in temperatures and in storminess are pro-

  ducing noticeable effects to-day. They result in marked
alterations in inland rainfall. On the western plains of America,
for instance, deep low-pressure storm centres are needed if'
moisture is to be carried that far inland by air currents from the
Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Periods of heat and
lessened storminess therefore mean an expansion of our desert
areas in the South-west. Early settlers on the plains teil of the
grass being stirrup-high even as late as the middle of the last
century; to-day the erop is scanty and short. Much of this
change may have been due to over-grazing, but reduced rain-
fall and more severe summer heat have also played a large

As I drove from Kansas up through Nebraska and South
Dakota in July of 1934, swirling dust clouds obscured the sun
and nearby landscape, and shifting topsoil buried fences,
buildings, and roads under ever-changing drifts. There I saw
deserts in the making—it was truly a gruesome sight. The soil
of Kansas shows that the plains experienced similar periods of
long-continued drought and blowing topsoil centuries before
there was any cultivation or over-grazing upon which to lay
the blame. No narrow band of planted trees is likcly to halt,
or in any way affect, these major shifts in inland ciimates. They
seem linked rather to the changes in world weather taking place
under fluctuating outside influences from the solar system.

As earth temperatures rise and cyclonic storminess lessens,
rainfall in the Southern and eastern sections of the United
States will tend to become more sharply seasonal in character.
Floods and soil erosion will be accentuated during the rainy
season. Drought conditions through the remainder of the year
will be much less favourable to agriculture than is the present
more even distribution of rainfall. Perhaps our Ohio River
flood of 1937 will pale into insignificance as we plunge another
century or two into the coming warmth.

Dust storms of northern China have for centuries been
carrying loose top soil eastward toward the ocean during the
dry winter seasons. In some places enormous banks of this
fluffy loess fill whole valleys, constituting the predominant
top soil there just as it does in Kansas. During the North China
dust storms the sun may be entirely obscured or just faintly
visible through the swirling clouds. A sprinkle of rain at such
times often showered us with pellets of mud. Dust originating
a thousand miles inland was carried hundreds of miles out to
sea over the Gulf of Peichili.

Americans berated the Chinese for permitting farming

  methods which made possible this shifting of top soil. But our
own dust storms of recent years have brought home to us the
futility of our puny efforts to hold back the mighty forces of
Nature. Our fertile plains became an American Dust Bowl,
generating clouds of fluffy top soil 1,000-2,000 miles wide which
swept eastward across the continent and out over the Atlantic

I smiled as I saw these enormous dust storms sweep over
Gincinnati, with showers of mud pellets or layers of powdery
clay coating everything in sight. We Americans had been so
sure of our wisdom as we blamed the Chinese people for their
dust storms, floods, and famines. Now they can smile at us as
we experience in a minor way the adverse natural forces with
which they have been contending for centuries. Intelligent
Chinese look upon us as rather raw barbarians, lacking in the
refinements of real civilization and much given to telling the
other person what he should do for his own good. They hope
that another few centuries of living experience may mellow us
somewhat and increase our tolerance of the mistakes others
make when faced with difficult situations. Until recently in our
national history an exuberance of energy and a great wealth
of natural resources had enabled us to make good on our
boastful and egotistic attitude. Perhaps the climatic changes
now apparently brewing will bring to us a degree of wholesome

You need no longer doubt the validity of climatic change.
Huntington prefers to call it pulsation rather than change,
emphasizing its cyclic character instead of any one-way trend,
and he is quite right.



Ihe earth is surrounded by an atmospheric cloak
which may seem filmy and intangible, but actually is so large
that it weighs an estimated 5,000,000,000,000,000 (five quad-
rillion) tons. Even in an ordinary room there are roughly 200
pounds of air. It is within this vast expanse of air enveloping the
earth that disturbances take place which cause short-cycle
weather changes and the slower undulations of unseasonable
warmth and cold occurring every few years. It is this airy
sheath which provides the oxygen necessary for life, but within
its environs our very existence hangs by the most slender threads
of cosmic circumstance.

In fact, the earth is lucky to have any atmosphere at all.
Mercury, the smallest of the planets, has none because her
gravitational attraction is too small to hold a vast envelope of
atmospheric particles and prevent them from wandering off
into outer space. Mars, which is about one-quarter the earth’s
size, probably has -just enough water vapour and oxygen to
support simple forms of vegetation, but not mammals like those
found on earth. Although Venus is slightly larger than Mars, its
cloudy atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, the gas which
you exhale and which bubbles up in soda-pop and other car-
bonated beverages. Jupiter, Saturn, and the other outer planets
cannot support the life we know because their temperatures are
hundreds of degrees below zero, and their atmospheres are
dense with hydrogen, methane, ammonia, and other unusable

The earth’s heavy, solid core, combined with adequate size,
gives our planet sufficiënt force of gravity to hold its atmosphere
in place. Even so, only the lower layers of air are dense enough
to support life. A mere 6 or 7 miles away from the earth’s surface
the atmosphere becomes too thin to supply our oxygen needs.
Most people are affected even by riding in an aeroplane at the
usual flight altitude of 2 miles. At 3^ miles the air is about half

  as dense as at sea level. From there on out for the next 5 miles
it is called “stratosphere” and is inhabitable by man only if he
takes along an additional supply of oxygen to breathe.

We are limited in a downward direction also, for life becomes
difficult in the dense air i-i£ miles below the surface in deep
mines. Serious troubles often arise on ascending from such mines
to surface air conditions. Workers coming up from the deep
South African gold mines take an hour or so for the trip, being
held for several minutes at different levels to allow gradual
reduction in the amount of air dissolved in the blood. Too
sudden an ascent causes bubbles of gas to be liberated in the
blood; these bring on the “bends” by obstructing blood flow
in the smaller vessels and may produce serious damage.

Under-water workers encounter similar limitations and
difficulties since the pressure of their air supply must be doubled
for each 32 feet of depth beneath the water’s surface. For really
deep descents into the ocean, such as William Beebe makes for
his observations of deep-sea life, sealed chambers capable of
withstanding great pressures are used, with surface atmospheric
conditions maintained for the occupants.

Not only is human life confined to a narrow layer of the earth’s
unique atmosphere, but slight alterations in the composition
of the air would mean death to all living organisms. We see the
fish in our rivers die as we pollute the watery surroundings in
which they live, but we seldom stop to consider some of the ways
in which our own atmospheric sea might change disastrously.
The air we breathe is 78*03 per cent. nitrogen and 20*99 Per
cent. oxygen; sudden disappearance of the latter element would
of course result in the death of every land animal in a matter of
minutes. But the atmosphere also contains other Chemicals in
such tiny quantities that it is difficult to realize their extremely
vital importance. There is only about o*03 per cent. of carbon
dioxide in the air, yet elimination of even this small proportion
would start a vicious cycle indeed. Plants, lacking this com-
pound, which is necessary for their existence, would wither
away and die. Herbivorous animals would soon starve to death,
as would man and other meat-eaters. According to animal
experiments by Professor J. Willard Hershey and Charles
Wagoner of McPherson College in Kansas, the rare gas, xenon,
is necessary to life—yet there are only six parts of this element
to 100,000 parts of air!

Even with this fortunate atmosphere, however, life could not
exist without certain other natural coincidences. For example,
during heat waves we look forward to some relief after sundown

»   127
  when the day’s heat radiates óff into outer space; but what if
the earth rotated more slowly—or not at all—on its axis? Mercury
and the moon have no such rotation, and their long daytime of
accumulating sun’s heat results in temperatures far too high for
any form of life. During their prolonged nights all this heat is
lost into space, and congealing frigidity prevails. So you can see
the intricate set of fortunate cosmic circumstances lying behind
the existence you so thoughtlessly enjoy day after day.

The terrestrial atmosphere which acts as a vast stage for
weather and seasonal changes is also a protection against radia-
tions from outer space. High-energy cosmic rays and ultra-
violet rays beat down toward the earth but lose much of their
force as they batter against molecules in the great sheathing
layers of air. If these layers were less dense, cosmic rays might
be deadly for man and other forms of life, while ultra-violet
beam§ would burn all things to a crisp. But the atmosphere
allows just enough of these radiations to come through and
benefit man. The ultra-violet beams which pass down to the
earth’s surface promote tissue health and kill germs, while
penetrating cosmic rays produce another desired effect.

As these radiations cleave through the upper air, they are
thought to impart their energy to its molecules and give it the
ionic character which we find so stimulating for breathing
purposes. Only in the cooler latitudes of the earth, however,
does man get a chance to breathe air from these activated outer
'layers. Tropical air is usually spiraling upwards, with no com-
pensating down currents from the upper atmosphere. Incoming
currents there travel along the earth’s surface from temperate
regions as the trade winds. In cooler latitudes, however, the
activated upper air is frequently brought down to us as enormous
masses of cold, heavy air—the “highs”—which sweep across the
continent providing clear cool weather and an atmosphere which
is often like a heady wine to breathe.

The cosmic rays may thus play an important part in our lives
by this effect upon the air we breathe. Perhaps the better supply
of this ionized atmosphere in temperate regions is a factor in the
greater vigour people of such lands enjoy. The rays themselves
also penetrate to the earth’s surface more in middle temperate
latitudes than farther, toward Equator or poles. Our knowledge
of their effects is still very sketchy, however; perhaps some day
their importance will be better understood, just as we are to-day
coming to appreciate the role air temperatures play. Perhaps,
too, a sudden increase in their intensity may some day turn
them into real death-rays for all life on earth.
  Another type of radiation striking the earth’s atmosphere is
responsible for the day-to-day and year-to-year changes which
make up world weather and affect human beings in the many
ways described in the previous chapters. Strangely enough,
our weather here on earth is strongly influenced by “weather”
on the greatest body in our planetary system—the sun—for the
sunspots you have been hearing so much about definitely influence
our surroundings and are very like our major storms on earth.
They are whirling in character, originate mainly in the higher
latitudes of the sun’s surface and travel eastward and down
toward the Equator in much the same way our temperate-zone
storms migrate across North America. They may be 100,000
miles in diameter instead of 2,000, but the sun’s diameter is
about 100 times that of the earth. From their centre gases spiral
far outward from the sun’s surface, just as the earth’s surface air
is propelled many miles upward in the centre of our large
cyclonic storms. Heat and electro-magnetic radiations stream
outward from the dark craters. These are the rays which so
seriously disrupt our long-distance telephone, telegraph, and
radio communication. Such disruption is now rather expected
with each new outburst. Those “highs” and “lows” discussed
in the chapter about barometric pressures then come along at
closer intervals, bringing more violent changes and colder
weather to the temperate regions of the earth.

Sunspots large enough to be seen with the naked eye are
present only at or near the crest of the eleven-year cycle, as in
the years 1937 and 1938. They are much less frequently seen
now (1942), and will almost disappear through the next year or
two. They were described in early Chinese writings as well as
by ancient Mediterranean observers. For the last two centuries
fairly accurate records have been kept of their size and number
from day to day. These records show recurring variations from
intense sunspot activity down to almost complete quiescence,
with the time from one crest to the next varying from eight to
sixteen years. An average length of slightly over eleven years
has caused them to be called eleven-year sunspot cycles, although
none of them has actually been of this length.

If you yourself have never seen these spots, you should watch
the rising and setting sun at times when fresh outbursts are
being mentioned in the news dispatches. One clear moming
in mid-October of 1938, while watching a beautiful sunrise, I
was greatly surprised to observe a pair of large dark spots on the
otherwise bright-red disc of the sun’s face. Only after watching
for several minutes to be sure they kept their position on the

Ecmm   129
  rising sun was I certain they were not solid objects in our own
atmosphere. On each succceding morning the spots were seen
more to the right on the sun’s face as it rotated on its axis, and
about a week later they had passed around out of sight. The
succeeding issué of Science News Letter carried a photograph of
the pair as its cover design, with a news note about their appear-
ance on an inside page.

Although earth storminess seems dependent to a considerable
degree upon sunspot activity, it has been found that the sun-
spots themselves are in turn dominated by the planets of the
solar system as they revolve around the sun. Curiously enough,
this influence of the planets was first observed for the earth
itself. Mrs. Maunder, the wife of a British astronomer at the
Greenwich Observatory, in 1889 observed that the spots in-
creased and were more numerous on the face of the sun away
from the earth, while on that portion toward us they diminished
in size and number.

Every layman at once wonders how Mrs. Maunder could
know what was happening around on the invisible face of the
sun, but the answer is simple. She did not use a rocket ship for a
trip out into space in order to view the other face of the sun!
The sun rotates on its axis just as the earth does, except that it
takes 28 of our.days for one complete rotation. Mrs. Maunder
simply kept daily count of the spots in each segment of the sun,
and noted that sunspot activity decreased steadily during the
14 days any area was visible trom the earth. Furthermore, she
found more spots on the surface just coming into view on the
left than on that disappearing from view to the right.

Other astronomers have verified Mrs. Maunder’s findings
and have shown that the same effect is exerted by other planets.
Sunspot numbers decline roughly 15 per cent. during the 14
days a given area of the sun is visible from the earth and ap-
proximately 22 per cent. while it is exposed to Venus. Venus is
somewhat smaller than the earth, but it is nearer the sun and
exerts a gravitational force about half again as great as that of
the earth. These tidal effects of the planets upon the sun are far
from simple, however, and astronomers have not yet been able
to unravel them sufficiently to make accurate forecasts of future

It was Dr. Abbot, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washing-
ton, who pointed out the direct connection of sunspot activity
to earth temperatures. Over a considerable number of years, he
found that Washington temperatures tended strongly to be lower
for the two weeks after each new outburst than for the fortnight

130   '   *
  preceding. I myself studied temperature records back through
the last two centuries in Europe and America, and found that
unseasonable cold prevailed in two-thirds of the months during
years of rising or high activity; during years when the sunspots
were declining or low, two-thirds of the months were unseason-
ably warm.

The amount of heat given off by the sun is greater when the
sunspot activity is high, and yet earth temperatures fall in
middle latitudes. This is explained as being due to the more
active convection currents set up in our surface atmosphere at
such times by the more intense sun’s heat, particularly in equa-
torial regions where the heat rays strike most directly. The con-
vection currents are supposed to pass outward toward the poles
at high altitudes and return to the earth’s surface as the polar
cold waves which bring increased storminess and lower tem-
peratures to temperate-zone lands. Whether or not this ex-
planation is correct, it is true that greater sunspot activity does
tend to bring cold and storms to middle temperate regions.
During periods of low sunspot activity the weather is more
likely to be calm and unseasonably warm.

When these periods of exceptional “summer” warmth *and
calm come over the earth, northerners tend to take life at an
easier pace. The result, when brought out by careful statistics,
is a vivid example of how man is under the influence of outside
forces, for with the decreased energy men pursue their business
lives less actively, are less disposed to put forth the effort needed
to support non-essential expenditures, and in every way take life
at an easier pace. Wall Street and other financial centres feel
the passive impact of this rhythm during warm periods of low
sunspot activity and, consequently, such periods are often
accompanied by severe depressions. Heat was present with the
panic of 1857, during the gloomy “seventies,” and with the
breaks of 1893, i9°7j i920j and I929- Our security panic of
1929 occurred a month before the temperatures here began their
prolonged elevation, but severe unseasonable warmth had
already struck Europe four months previously.

Practically every prosperity or boom period, on the other
hand, has been a time of normal or low temperatures. Such was
the stimulating weather preceding the nat ion’s past crashes.
For the last three years of the first World War unseasonable cold
largely prevailed in America, giving a firm basis for the remark-
able expaiision in our wartime industrial output. Temperature
conditions were not quite so propitious for production early in
the present war, for we had been held down by protracted

  warmth most of the time since late 1929. But there were sub-
normal temperatures generally in 1940 for the first time in over a
decade, and in that year our industrial machine seemed to
shake off its ten-year collection of cobwebs and oil up for in-
tensive action. Moderate warmth in 1941 slowed it down some-
what, but in the first half of 1942 optimal temperatures have
prevailed and allowed our war production to reaph really
amazing levels.

Although the medical profession feels the result of these
weather changes especially strongly, the average physician
seldom realizes how closely temperatures, business activity, and
health are interrelated. When times are hard, he blames his
reduced income on the assumption that fewer potential patients
make calls because they, too, are earning less money and cannot
afford medical service. But the facts invalidate this easy assump-
tion, for general death rates are lowest during those same
depression years when there are fewer calls for a doctor’s help.
The medical profession need not worry, however, for it does not
follow that visits to the family physician actually increase the
risk of death! The high temperatures which accompany low
sunspot activity and influence financial depressions also bring
reduced storminess, greater relaxation—and the human machine
works under lower stress.

During these warm periods respiratory attacks and other
acute infections strike less frequently. Heart failure cases entering
the Gincinnati General Hospital—considering only those
unassociated with bacterial disease—were only a quarter as
numerous through the very warm years from 1929 to 1933 as
they were before or afterwards. Normally such cases are four
times more common in winter than in summer, but during those
balmy winters low summer rates prevailed. Toxic goitre cases
also became more scarce. Quite regularly back through past
depressions in America illnesses and deaths have been reduced
as business activity lessened. Health authorities have always
predicted dire consequences from the smaller expenditures for
health purposes during such hard times, but no such ill effects
ever occur. The health improvement always lasts until the
people again become involypd in another rising tide of business
activity. Hard times severely affect the country’s doctors, for
collections are poor and fewer calls are made upon them.
During prosperity their services are in greater demand to stem
the rising sickness and death rates.

Tuberculosis is one of the diseases showing great improvement
in times of depression, and it is the one which health workers

  always expect to become worse because of incrcasing poverty
and malnutrition. It benefits greatly, however, from the reduced
storminess and lessened acute respiratory illnesses of the warm
years. The long decline in its death rate is usually accelerated
most during prolonged economie recessions and sometimes
receives a temporary setback with the return of the colder and
more stormy years of better times. Solution of the mysteries of
sunspot and other outside Controls over earth’s weather would
probably go far toward removing the disastrous effects of these
recurring economie cycles which beset us.

I do not mean to infer that weather is the only factor at work.
Wars, mass migrations, changes in population pressure, over-
expansion of production—these are also extremely important
elements in setting the stage and determining the intensity of
the reaction once it starts. It is weather, however, which affects
the energy background in man himself, deciding whether he
shall be energetic and expansive in his planning or whether
fear and inaction shall prevail.


  does not require a warming of the air in winter oir the cooling
of it in summer. I refer to reflective radiant conditioning, as
demonstrated a few years ago in my laboratory, in which all
warming or cooling of the room occupants is done entirely
through radiant channels.

Heat or infra red rays travel through the air at the speed of
light or radio waves (186,000 miles a second) without any
appreciable warming influence. Their warming effect occurs
only when they strike some solid body which can absorb the
beams. The absorbed rays cause the atoms of the object to move
violently, and the resulting kinetic energy of motion produces
heat. A person’s heat loss can readily be controlled through
radiant channels alone, no matter how hot or cold the surround-
ing air may be, if arrangements are made to govern the amount
of this radiant heat falling upon or leaving his skin surfaces.

Everyone knows the sharp contrast in comfort between standing
in deep shade and out in the hot summer sun, even though
actual air temperatures may be the same in both cases. And in
cold winter air, it matters greatly whether you are on the sunny
side of a building or in its shadow. Those enjoying winter sports
on the mountain slopes of Switzerland or Idaho are kept warm
by the sun’s radiating heat waves reaching them through zero
air. European air-conditioning engineers made some use of this
principle by imbedding hot water pipes in the ceilings or floors
so that the warmed surfaces might radiate heat to the occupants.
Remember that this is radiant heat, the kind which does not
raise the temperature of the air between its source and the
absorbing object. They thus succeeded in achieving comfort at
air temperatures ten degrees cooler than those required by
American air-conditioning methods.

Scientists at one large industrial concern in America tried for
several years to perfect a method for winter heating and summer
cooling through control of wall temperatures. Using metal wall
surfaces, they could make lightly clad persons quite comfortable
in zero air by having the walls radiate heat. Many persons
understand this sort of situation in which heat rays pass through
air, strike the body, and warm it as a result, but they find it
difïicult to grasp how heat may be removed from the body by
radiation. The main point is that the body, like any other object,
can lose heat by emitting infra red rays, and, if the walls of a
room are cooled instead of heated, these rays are removed from
the room confines as fast as they are given off from the skin.

The researchers proved this by placing persons in the room
at no° F. Then they lowered the wall temperature. Despite

  the sizzüng heat, the subjects relaxed comfortably because their
bodies were able to eliminate the excess heat by radiation. These
tests were interesting and valuable. Judging by their skin sensa-
tions, occupants of the experimental room often could not
guess whether they were in cold air or warm. For some reason,
the hot air was not even disagreeable to breathe when body
skin surfaces were losing heat readily to the cold walls. In quite
thorough fashion, the scientists demonstrated that bodily
comfort could be obtained by control of wall temperatures
regardless of prevailing air conditions.

The studies were finally abandoned for two reasons. There
was no way of controlling wall temperatures within reasonable
economie limits, either for construction costs or for maintenance;
and walls chilled for hot summer weather were always wet with
water which condensed upon their cooled surfaces. Obviously,
no heating system will sell if its hot-weather operation causes
wall surfaces to drip with moisture.

In my laboratories the radiant idea was carried a step further.
Instead of using hot or cold wall surfaces, I covered all the
inside walls of an experimental chamber with aluminum foil.
It is a highly efficiënt, mirror-like reflector of all heat rays, so
much so that its surface temperature rises very little even when
intense heat is directed at it from a close-up source. On two side
walls of the foil-lined room, I installed steel plates which could
be chilled by fluid circulated from an outside compressor unit.
The air in this room was kept hot and moist at all times (930 F.
and 70 per cent. saturated) by means of an automatic con-
ditioning unit. In another foil-lined room, arrangements were
made to chili the air down to freezing temperatures, with
ordinary electric radiant heaters as a source of heat rays.

I found that a person could be quite comfortable in the tropical
moist heat of the hot room when he lost body heat solely by
radiation to the cold plates—either directly or by reflection
from the foil wall surfaces. With all the cold plates in operation,
loss of body heat was so rapid that actual chilling resulted if a
person sat quietly reading for an hour. Rats and mice grew just
as rapidly, and with as high vitality, as in the 65° F. air of my
ordinary cold room. An assistant, in caring for the animals,
found that she needed a sweater to keep from being chilled—and
this in air at 93° F.!

Metal cages, wooden objects, and clothing in this hot room
were cooled by radiation of their heat to the cold plates, while
all foil surfaces remained at the 930 air temperature. A person’s
clothing thus became several degrees cooler than the air im-

  mediately in contact with it. This is a resnlt difficult to ïmagine,
but it actually occurred. As one entered from severe outside
summer heat, no immediate difference was noticed; but within
a few minutes a feeling of cool comfort developed as clothing
temperatures dropped and more rapid loss of body heat became
possible. No shock whatever was experienced on passing from
the room’s comfort into outside heat, for air conditions were
approximately the same inside and out. Here was adequate
summer comfort without air cooling and the shock and hazards
it brings to those entering or leaving the conditioned confines.

In the other foil-lined room, radiant heat furnished delightful
shirt-sleeve comfort while air temperatures remained near
freezing. A pleasing phase of this set-up was that one had cold
air to breathe while the remainder of the body was properly
warm. By sufficiently increasing the input of radiant heat (still
keeping air temperatures low) a person would find himself
perspiring freely while surrounded by cool air. Under such
excessive radiant heat load, animals showed the same slow
growth and lowered vitality as in ordinary tropical moist

Reflective radiant conditioning, effectively demonstrated in my
experimental chambers, offers alluring advantages for both
winter and summer use. In the first place it removes the necessity
of setting up sharp differences between air conditions indoors
and out; this was the particular point I had hoped to achieve
because of its health implications. Another very definite advan-
tage is the marked reduction in power load needed either for
winter heating or for summer cooling. Different engineers and
architects have estimated that the fuel or power load would be
reduced 60-80 per cent., since little is wasted in warming or
cooling the air mass or wall materiais. Such reduction would
bring conditions easily within the gas or electric field, thus doing
away entirely with the home use of coal and all the resulting
smoke nuisances.

Another benefit of reflective radiant conditioning would be
its saving in insulation costs. Since the reflective foil surfaces
remain cold in winter air and hot in summer—at practically the
same temperatures as those of the outside air—heat transfer
through the wall would be small. In addition, the foil surface
radiates on into the room very little of the heat which comes to
it through the wall. Thus, the surface is highly reflective for rays
striking its surface, but has almost no power to emit heat which
may actually be in the foil itself. In this conditioning system the
walls need be constructed to turn wind and rain, but with little

  consideration for heat-transfer values. This is sharply different
from the expensive insulation needed for efficiënt air conditioning.

One installation of reflective radiant conditioning has been
made under actual field conditions. This was in an operating
room of a large hospital where surgeons and nurses enjoyed
delightful comfort even while midsummer air temperatures in
the room remained above 90° F. Certain further developments
are needed, however, before this type of indoor conditioning
can come into wide üse. Means of decorating the foil surfaces
must be found, for few people will be willing to have shiny walls
in their homes; but such decoration must not interfere with the
foil’s mirror-like reflectivity. Scientists must develop paints
which are heat-transparent in thin coatings. Certain lacquers
can be used safely on the foil surface, but pigments must be found
to put colour into a room. Finally, the system calls for a'heat-
transparent plastic to protect the heating and cooling plates
from room air, since in radiant conditioning it is desired to leave
air tempertaures as little changed as possible. One material
already in use has been found to be about 50 per cent. trans-
parent to heat rays (that is, it allows about half the heat rays
striking it to pass through), and careful search in plastic labora-
tories will probably yield another of the desired efficiency. With
such sealing-in of the plates, the only heat entering or leaving
the room will be that in a radiant form.

A housing research unit in the engineering college of another
university is at present equipping a small cottage for radiant
conditioning along the lines followed in my experimental
chambers, with a conventional air-conditioning system in an
adjoining companion cottage. There comparative operating
costs and working efficiency will be studied under actual
field conditions, and the method made ready for practical

It has been quite definitely shown that skin sensations of heat
or cold depend upon the rate of heat gain or loss and not on the
manner in which the heat arrivés or départs. Air, clothing,
or other materials feel hot or cold according to the rate at which
they conduct heat to or from the skin by direct contact. But
radiant heat from a distant source—such as the sun—also feels
warm because it too adds to the skin’s heat. These principles
explain why one can feel cool at 930 F. In my foil-lined hot
room, with the air kept at 930 F., a distinct sensation of cold can
be obtained by holding the palm of the hand out in front of the
cold plate. Even though the hand be entirely surrounded by
hot, moist air, the radiant heat loss from the skin to the cool

  plate causes a definitely chilly feeling on the palm. It seems to
matter little to the body through what avenue its heat is lost,
just so the total rate of loss be adequate.

Of course, air conditioning is not concerned solely with
heating or cooling of the air, but heat control does constitute its
major concern. Humidity changes and air motion are only
secondary factors to facilitate the warming or cooling effect
upon the body. Cleansing or filtration of the air, however, is
another separate and important part of air conditioning, one
which is greatly needed in the dirty atmosphere of our industrial
cities. Other air-conditioning gadgets of limited application are
the ozonizers and sterilizing lights now being installed in many
places. Sterilizing curtains of ultra-violet light have been found
especially useful in hospitals to prevent the carrying of disease
germs from one patiënt to another by air currents.

Still another proper function of air conditioning is the supply-
ing of fresh air to the room. No one yet knows just what the
difference is between fresh and stale air ëxcept that one is
pleasant to breathe and the other is disagreeable. Gertainly
staleness is not an oxygen lack, nor need it be concerned with an
accumulation of body odours.

Staleness of air has been thought by some to be related to the
degree of oxygen ionization. Ordinary outdoor oxygen exists
in several different forms—as 02, 03, and 04. Its reactivity
increases sharply the greater the number of atoms there are
associated together. Ozone is presumed to be 04 and is the most
active form of oxygen known. “Stale” air at once becomes
“fresh” when passed through a proper ionizing chamber to
reactivate its oxygen. Temperature plays an important part in
this ionization, for the active forms go back into the inactive
more readily when the temperature is high. One of the quickest
ways to make room air lifeless and undesirable for breathing is
to pass it over hot metal surfaces, as is done in many warm-air
heating plants. Room air thus tends to retain its freshness much
better if it is kept cool. Radiant conditioning offers a distinct
advantage here, for indoor winter air can be kept cold and fresh
much more readily when the room occupants are being warmed
by radiant heat. In fact, Windows could be kept open in mid-
winter provided no noticeable draughts were present.

Filtration or proper cleansing of outside air as it is taken into
a room prevents dirt accumulation both in human air passages
and on room furnishings. Such cleansing is badly needed in
industrial or densely built-up urban regions. Many people
carefully filter all the air taken in during the day but throw their

  bedroom Windows wide open at night, when the outdoor air
is foulest. The housewife can see her window curtains disin-
tegrate where the night air strikes them, yet she seldom considers
that the foul air may exert a similar corrosive action on the tissues
of her respiratory tract. During winter nights, when the “smog”
hangs thick over a city, one’s nasal linings become heavily
coated with the black soot and ash mixture coming from the
neighbourhood chimneys—unless, perchance, the incoming air
is filtered at night as well as through the day. Our handkerchiefs
usually teil the story with their first morning use.

In homes equipped with warm-air heating systems, which
include a fan to circulate the air through the house, the Windows
should be kept shut both night and day during the winter
season; then all incoming air is properly cleansed. Bedroom
temperatures should be lowered during sleeping hours, it is
true, for people usually sleep best when they have cool air to
breathe. But it seems inadvisable to allow all the city’s flue
products free access to your bed-chamber in order to have a
night supply of cool air. Americans have greatly overdone the
fresh-air idea, anyway, particularly with respect to the wide-
open bedroom Windows. Ten degrees of night-time cooling
should be ample, whereas many of us during the winter sleep
in air thirty to fifty degrees colder than we breathe through
the day.

Many people consider summer cooling prohibitive in cost,
but it is no more expensive than winter heating. The difference
lies in the fact that winter heating is essential while summer
cooling is more or less a luxury. Hot-weather comfort is particu-
larly costly in tropical climates, where the cooling load is heavy
and electric rates aie high. Radiant conditioning will be especially
appropriate there, both on the basis of its lower power require-
ment and because it avoids contrasts between indoor and outside

While proper conditioning of man’s indoor habitat may add
greatly to his comfort and health, it is questionable whether it
can go far toward overcoming the more profound effects of given
climates upon whole masses of people. The lucky few will always
enjoy efficiënt conditioning, but only the poorest makeshift
arrangements must suffice for the unfortunate many. Even with
all the wealth and mechanical productivity of America, indoor
conditioning is still rudimentary in the great majority of house-

In case you plan to join the lucky few, be sure your job is well
engineered for your particular needs. Accustom yourself to

  temperatures around 7o°-72°F.; if any members of the house-
hold are chilly at -these temperatures,* have them wear warmer
clothing. Overheating is just as harmful for some as chilling is
for others. Bare arms or legs are quite often responsible for
complaints. Women produce less heat than men and usually
chili more easily; so they should be the ones to wear the heavier
clothing indoors. Where both sexes live or work together indoors,
the men should be in shirt sleeves or wearing only a light jacket,
and the women should put on work coats as warm as they need
for comfort. Many offices and homes are kept far too warm
simply because some occupant would rather complain than put
on moré clothing. Granny should have her warm corner and
shawl while the youngsters do their homework off in a cool

Glassrooms at school should be made comfortable for the
children rather than the teacher. Being older and less active,
the teacher usually desires higher room temperatures; however,
her needs should be met by additional clothing rather than by
keeping the room too warm for the children. In school buildings
with central heating and thermostatic control it is probably
wisest to keep temperature regulation out of the teacher’s

People with chronic rheumatic or sinus infection are always
extra-sensitive to chilling. They chili at temperatures quite
comfortable for normal persons, but this chilling is just as bad
for them as real cold would be. The best solution to their problem
is warmer clothing. Except in hospitals and sick-rooms, tem-
peratures should be adapted to the comfort of the normal well
people rather than to the complaining few.

By making indoor atmospheres more uniform and stable,
air-conditioning engineers have added greatly to our comfort.
Progress toward reflective radiant conditioning in the years
ahead may allow us to hold these gains and add to them other
notable advances. I predict that some day we shall see interior
conditioning done largely by radiant means, with a health
betterment and cost saving which will make us wonder why we
struggled so long trying to do the job through heating or cooling
of room air.

But, as we mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, air
conditioning is merely a drop in the bucket when the small
and isolated spots of man-made comfort are compared with the
vast realms of space where climatic forces work supremely in-
different to man. The first five chapters have shown how these
forces affect people in the tropics; the following chapters em-

  phasized the driving force and health toll of energizing cooler
climates. In the final part of this book we shall look at the larger
effects of climate and weather on mankind in general. People
who still think of man as a builder of his own destiny will not
like what we see.




There is nothing, however, which enriches adult life as much
as the rearing of a family. Overpopulated though the earth may
be, with more power already available than man knows how to
use, children still are among the most essential ingredients of a
well-rounded existence. Of course we want them to be blessed
with lusty health and vigour so that repeated illness will not
burden us with worry and economie drain. Ability to reproduce
well is therefore still an important part of life, and we should be
interested in the factors which favour or hinder it. Here is where
climate and the seasons enter the picture, for temperature of the
environment and rate of food burning allovyed in your tissues
dominate your reproductive powers. The following pages of this
chapter will show not only that your own fertility is highest
during certain seasons, but that you can take advantage of this

  important fact. If yöu select the proper time of year to conceive
a child, its chances of success in life and good health will be
tremen'dously increased.

Your fertility is highest when outdoor temperatures range
around 65° F.; conceptions then occur most readily and the
offspring are most' lusty. Winter temperatures averaging below
40° F. make you somewhat less fertile, even though you may be
more active physically; and as mean summer temperatures
climb above 70° F. you decline in both fertility and bodily
vigour. You probably had no idea you were so affected by
changes in temperature and would like to have proof that it is
so. You cannot very well test it out on yourself without en-
countering troublesome social difficulties, so look instead at the
fluctuations in fertility other people show as mean temperatures
go up and down through the seasons.

Live-birth statistics paint a vivid picture, if the births be dated
back nine months to the time of conception. Birth in itself is of
little importance, even though we do celebrate it every year as
long as we live; it is only a more or less inevitable outcome of
earlier events. Of much greater importance are conditions
prevailing at the time of conception, when the characteristics
and vitality of the parents’ germ cclls unite to mould the off-
spring’s future. Throughout pregnancy the mother only nourishes
and shelters the new life as it starts unfolding.

Starting at Montreal, where summer warmth, is ncver de-
pressive, fertility hits its peak in midsummer and sinks lowest
during the steady cold of winter. In Boston there is slight re-
duction during July and August when mean temperatures rise
slightly above the 70° F. line, but in Cincinnati this summer
drop becomes more definite. In the steady moist heat of Charles-
ton^ summer the fall in reproductivity becomes marked, but it
is followed by good recovery through the autumn coolness.
Even more striking reduction is found at Tampa, conceptions
being fully a third less during summer heat than during the
mild winter coolness.

Japan and other countries blanketed by the extremely de-
pressing heat of the Oriental monsoon summer show the most
extreme fertility changes. Japanese conceptions reach their peak
during the cherry-blossom season, when most neariy ideal
weather conditions prevail (April to June). With the onset of
monsoon heat in late June, reproductivity takes a nose-dive and
remains at a low level until October coolness initiates a slow
revival. Marriages in Japan also reach a high peak at the cherry-
blossom season, but éven if every wedding were followed by

  immediate conception, not over a tenth of the season’s rise in
conceptions could be thus accounted for.

The beauty of the blossoms themselves helps to make that
season the most emotional one in Japan, so temperature may not
be the only factor responsible for the high conception rate.
Until the present war with Japan broke out, much had come to
be made of cherry-blossom time in Washington also. Perhaps it
is significant that even before war began steam shovels were
uprooting many of the trees lining the drives in Potomac Park.
A few years ago, several thousand of the trees were planted in
one of Cincinnati’s parks which has since become quite popular
for outdoor evening dancing. I shall watch with interest for their
effect upon the city’s birth rate!

A few years ago one of my colleagues spent some time as
visiting professor at one of the large Japanese universities. He
became interested in houses of prostitution (a purely platonic
interest, of course!). Such places in Japan are closely supervised
by the authorities, and the compilation of complete and detailed
statistics shows that Germany has no monopoly on Teutonic
thoroughness. Every day the keeper of each house officially
informs the police exactly how many patrons were received.
These figures, obtained by the professor, show no significant
reduction in the use of brothels during the monsoon summer heat.
A Japanese friend tells me that sex relations are fully as active
in summer as at other times of the year. The summer decline
in conceptions must therefore represent a true reduction in
ability to reproduce.

It has been suggested that the reduced summer conception
rate of America’s middle and lower temperate latitudes may be
due to longer hours of outdoor work during that season, with a
higher rate resulting from winter idleness. The same reasoning
fails to hold farther north, however, where highest conception
rates coincide with summer activity and lowest rates with the
long winter nights. The condition is one of real alteration in
biologie fertility and can readily be brought about in laboratory
animals by changing only their ease of heat loss.

Our hundreds of white mice kept at 65° F. became so fertile
that practically every mating resulted in prompt conception.
The litters were large in number and of high vitality, with very
few stillbirths or infant deaths. Within two weeks after the
temperature of the mouse quarters was raised to 90° F., how-
ever, conceptions were difficult to achieve and litters were small
and puny. Many animals were bom dead and many more died
before weaning age. These differences occurred even though

  mating was carried on just as freely at 90° F. as at 65° F. The
reproductive organs, studied under the microscope, showed
reduced activity in the heat. Complete sterility can be induced
by raising the temperature three or four degrees higher

The use of artificial fever machines has demonstrated that
human reproductive organs also lose their potency for several
weeks after as little as a single five- or six-hour fever treatment.
Production of spermatozoa is exceedingly low for the succeeding
month. There have also been instances of valuable race-horses
rendered permanently sterile by a single day of excessive heat.
A Kentucky blue-grass colt became overheated one sizzling day
while his car was standing in the railroad yards of a certain city
awaiting an outgoing train. He apparently recovered, but had
lost his racing edge. Sold for stud purposes, he was later found
to be completely sterile.

Breeders of small animals around Cincinnati frequently find
that their charges are almost completely sterile by the end of a
hot summer, while the same rabbits, mice, or guinea pigs kept
in cooled quarters continue to reproduce profusely. One beautiful
male rabbit, known to be highly fertile, was overheated in our'
laboratory hot room, but recovered to apparent good health.
Afterwards, repeated matings showed him to be permanently

In Panama warmth the prolific guinea-pig becomes a poor
breeder, improving slightly during the short dry season, when
low humidity renders the warmth less depressive. Large numbers
of guinea-pigs are required for certain hospital and laboratory
procedures in Panama, but those imported from the north
endure the heat poorly and are of little value. Last year we
equipped a room for 70° F. temperature and found that pigs
placed in its coolness almost at once regained their famous

During the severe heat of the 1934 summer in the Middle
West, human fertility was sharply reduced. Kansas City showed
a 30 per cent. reduction in conception rate during the month
when midday temperatures regularly rosé above ioo° F. (The
usual summer decline is only 15 per cent.) All through the
Middle West birth statistics showed the same sharp decfine for
conceptions during that period of blazing heat. .

Thus, prevailing temperatures profoundly affect reproductivity
which—depending on the weather—may vary all the way from
100 per cent. fertility to complete sterility. But the problem is
not merely one of your own capacities; temperatures not only
  affect the number of progeny, but also their vitality and ability
to survive. Human stillbirths and infant deaths are most numerous
at high temperatures, just as we found with our laboratory
animals. Since you may be more interested in the quality than
in the quantity of your children, you must remember that the
healthiest offspring are conceived during the season when your
own fertility is greatest.

My parents were practical people, with little faith in the
sayings of crystal-gazers or fortune-tellers. They sought no
horoscopic reading of their children’s destinies. To them one
month of birth was as good as another, even though they recog-
nized season as an important factor in animal breeding. Their
six children were bom in six different months—January, April,
May, August, September, and December.

In those days there was no evidence that the season of con-
ception exerted a marked influence over the child’s entire future.
If my parents had even suspected that winter or early spring
conception would confer distinct advantages on their offspring,
I am sure they would have made every effort to give us such
benefit. At that time, however, it had not been shown that the
‘volumes of IVho’s Who are largely filled with the names of people
conceived during the winter or spring months, that people
conceived then tend to live several years longer, and that the
likelihood of their entering college is almost twice as great as it
is among those conceived in midsummer heat.

This knowledge was not even available during the years when
my wife and I were raising our own children. However, my older
son and his newly-wedded wife have already been told of its
implications and importance for the future of the children they
intend to rear. My daughter and younger son also became
keenly interested in the subject as they read the preliminary
manuscript for this chapter. Most people \yish to give their
children all possible care and advantage in life, but few realize
that their efforts should begin even before their children have
been conceived. Optimal health and vigour in the parents are
just as important as season of conception for the child’s future,
but few couples consider this important fact. The facts here
presented, however, will be of great interest to those forward-
looking few who desire to give their children every possible
advantage. ,

Investigators in various countries have studied the influence
exerted by season of birth, but Ellsworth Huntington, research
geographer of Yale University, has gone into the subject most
deeply. His book, Season of Birth, lts Relation to Human Abüities,

  is not recommended as light reading, but it does contain a wealth
of interesting information.

Every mother may not expect her son to become President,
or sit among the nation’s mighty, but she hopes to see him rise
somewhat above the common level. She and her husband can,
if they will, greatly increase the son*s chances for success in life.
The child’s hereditary background btfcomes definitely fixed
when his parents wed, but the activation of his inherited abilities
is largely determined by the physical environment under which
he is conceived and lives.

Prospective parents of middle temperate latitudes should keep
in mind that their own bodily vigour goes through a yearly
cycle, rising to a peak in the spring, declining sharply through
summer heat, and then recovering again during the autumn
and winter. Among the thousands of prominent peoplc in
Who's Who, conceptions rosé steadily through winter cold to a
high spring peak and then declined sharply to the year’s low
point in midsummer.

Your child stands the best chance of being a success if he is
conceived during the season when conceptions are most numerous
in your locality. To be sure, criminals and certain types of the
insane are also more frequently conceived during the same
optimal season, but the dividing line between genius and in-
sanity has always been a narrow one. Proper selection of a mate
should reduce the chances of insanity developing in your children,
while the right kind of home environment will go far toward
suppressing criminal tendencies. If you prefer the greater safety
of mediocrity for your children, then you should choose the less
vital seasons for their conception.

Washington and Lincoln were both born in February. Their
greatness was probably due to the fact that they were conceived
in May at the year’s peak of vitality, for American prc-eminence
has always been closely associated with spring conceptions.
Twenty-seven of our thirty-one presidents were conceived during
the eight months from December to July, and only four during
the remaining third of the year. Not a single President was
conceived in August heat, or born during May or June. Elevcn
of the 31 were conceived the first quarter of the year, 10 in the
second, 4 in the third, and 6 in the fourth. Let those figures be
your guide in choosing the season of conception for your children
—not in the hope that each of them will become world-famous
if properly conceived, but simply so that they may be given this
potent advantage in later life.

As a start toward future greatness, you probably hope your

  child will be able to obtain a college education. If you have
ample means, this may worry you little; but those means may
be dissipated in the world turmoil now going on before your
child is ready for college. It would be safer to have him conceived
during the season which starts him off with sufficiënt energy to
carry him to college on his own initiative. In the northem United
States a youngster conceived in March is half again more likely
to enter college than one conceived in August. Far greater *
parental vigour seems transmitted to offspring conceived from
December to March—vigour which drives the new individual
ahead to develop faster, live longer, and accomplish more.
Even puberty shows a significantly earlier onset in those conceived
during winter cold.

Season of conception affects the vitality of the offspring much
less as one goes south from middle temperate latitudes into
subtropical warmth. The cool season still is best, but its benefits
are less striking. In real tropical heat there is no optimal period—
vitality is low at all times of the year. Prospective parents living
in the tropics who desire to practice the highest type of eugenics
and give their children all possible benefits should spend several
months in northern cold before conception takes place. One
young couple in Panama, hearing these facts, congratulated
their infant on having such a fortunate background, for they
had spent several months in Canada just before conception

Probably much of my own restlessness and driving curiosity
has resulted from a fortunate March conception—at the very
peak of vitality for the latitude of my birthplace. One of my
children is also fortunate, with the background of a February
conception, but the other two were conceived in October. If I
had only known earlier of this ingrediënt in the recipe for
advantage in life!

These remarks presuppose active timing of conceptions by
prospective parents. Such control is widely practised, however,
and promises to become even more so as new marriage laws
compel young people to undergo medical examination before a
licence can be issued. These laws bring people more in touch
with physicians, many of whom are quite willing to assist in-
telligent couples in properly spacing their conceptions.

As we emphasized earlier in this chapter, widespread use of
inanimate power on farms and in industry has tended to displace
man-power and has made a child more of an economie liability
than an asset. This change is probably responsible for the
sharply declining birth rate and the increasing number of

  childless marriages. There were ten children in my mother’s
family, seven in my father’s, and six of us at home during my
childhood. But the six of us have a total of only eight offspring.
Average family size has declined from six to less than three
children within one generation. Since quality must now take
the place of quantity in human reproduction, parents should
carefully consider the seasonal and climatic factors which alter
the quality of their progeny.

Keen intellects and high vitality will be at a premium in the
troubled decades of future world reconstruction. Children
conceived during the most favourable seasons have an exception-
ally good chance of possessing these qualities—all that is required
is proper parental foresight. See to it that your offspring never
look back as adults and blame you for lack of such thoughtfulness!



We can do nothino about curbing or modifying
the vast outdoor climatic and weather forces which have so
much influènce on our vital rhythms and health. But in Chapter
11 we have already shown that a socially minded community
can and should do a great deal to control the man-made climates
which result in the great clouds of dust and other potentially
dangerous combustion by-products over our industrial centres.
Another method of handling the problems of our surroundings
is to escape from them into that form of localized artificial
climate known as air conditioning.

The benefits of such artificial environments may be illustrated
by an interesting case in Manila. In a local factory 100 Filipino
women were busy wrapping and packaging sticks of bubble gum.
The manager had installed cooling equipment to maintain a
65° F. temperature so that the gum would be kept hard while
being handled. This he had done with many misgivings, since
Filipinos were extremely sensitive to chilling. The labour supply
there was plentiful, however, so he had gone ahead. Bundling
the women up in sweaters, shawls, woollen dresses, and stockings,
he had advised them to eat lunch in the workrooms and to leave
the wrapping room only at the end of the day. They thus had
avoided the shock of frequent change from indoor cold to outside



  cautions against hearty beer drinking when the body tissues
have been dried out by previous perspiration. To quench one’s
hot-weather thirst with beer is liable to lead 1$ rather profound
intoxication, for the dried-out nervous tissue takes up the alcohol
and water quickly and becomes deadened before the alcohol
can be burned. A normal person will burn the small percentage
of alcohol in beer almost as fast as it can be absorbed into the
blood, and as a result beer intoxication is difficult. But when the
body tissues lose a great deal of water by profuse sweating,
absorption becomes much more rapid and even beer drinking
has its dangers.

One attack of heatstroke or prostration leaves an individual
far more susceptible to similar trouble in subsequent heat
waves. Since doctors have not yet found a way to overcome this
sensitivity, heat victims must take special care to avoid futurc
exposure. Proper intake of the B vitamins in adequate amounts
may protect them against future trouble to a considerable

City dwellers suffer much more during severe heat waves
than do residents of rural areas. This is largely bccausc the sun’s
daytime heat tends to be stored in the pavements and piled-up
masonry of the crowded buildings faster than it can be given off
at night. Trapped inside the buildings, it causcs indoor tem-
peratures to rise higher with each succeeding day of heat. In
open rural areas cach day’s load of heat is pretty thoroughly
re-radiated into outer space at night. Green vegetation also helps
in lessening the sevority of heat, for it is largely composed of
water which absorbs the heat without much changc of tem-
peraturc. The dry earth of cultivated fields, or the masonry and
pavement materials of the city, become much hotter under the
same intensity of sun’s heat than do growing plants.

Highest daytime temperatures are usually cncountcred in
desert regions, for the sand heats up quickly under the blazing
sun; but it also cools quickly at night as it radiates its daytime
heat off into space. Although tropical regions of heavy rainfall
receive just as much heat, the dense water-laden foliagc on all
sides keeps air temperatures from rising very high; but the
abundance of water everywhere, with its load of stored heat,
also makes the nights warm and oppressive. Tempcratc-zone
cities, with their towering and crowded buildings of concrete
and brick, offer the most severe summer heat problem. It was
this problem which led to the development of air-conditioning
for summer cooling.

One of the most acute heat problems faced by man is to be

  found inside the tanks engaged in desert warfare. When closed
for action, they quickly become veritable ovens in which the
occupants suffer 4 terrible torment. The steel turret readily
absorbs the sun’s heat and re-radiates it into the interior. Lining
the inside of the turret with aluminum foil should greatly lessen
this heating-up of the interior; it should also give considerable
protection against attack from flame-thrówers or the kerosene
bomb which now makes of the tank a blazing inferno. If tanks
were to be lined with foil and then provided with sufficiënt
mechanical cooling to remove the body heat the occupants
produce, it should be possible for the men to work inside in fair
comfort for hours. At present the heat problem presents a severe
limitation to tank operation in hot weather or tropical climates.

chapter 13


We have seen in PREVious chapters that people
living in regions marked by frequent storms and the accompany-
ing wide changes in atmospheric pressure suffer particularly
from respiratory ailments, high blood pressure, and other upsets.
Acute appendicitis attacks are most likely to come when the
barometer is falling, so much so that knowing surgeons rather
expect an epidemie of cases on such days. This disease is most
severe and fulminates only in the world’s stormy areas; it is
mild and infrequent in the more stable climates of Europe and
most of the tropics.

But the effect of changing weather can show itself in signs far
more subtle than the symptoms of physical disease. People have
long known intuitively that their emotions and personalities
were influenced by their climatic surroundings. In fact, this
awareness is built firmly into the English language with such
phrases as “stormy emotions,” “tempestuous feelings,” and
“a face as dark as a thunder-cloud.” As so frequently is the case,
our closest companions among domesticated beasts provide us
with clear evidence of this phenomenon.

Farm animals are often good barometers of weather change,
exhibiting a growing restlessness and irritability as a storm
approaches. All country children realize this, but those raised

  in the city have missed the close touch with Nature which comes
from such daily associations. Cattle, horses, hogs, and other
domestic livestock are in their own ways just as natural as wild
animals which roam the untouched forests, and they can teach
us many valuable lessons if we will but take the trouble to stop,
look, and listen.

Time after time these friends on our Indiana farm demon-
strated that sudden weather change is an extremely disturbing
factor in daily life. We had with us for years one particular cow
which acted as an excellent weather gauge. During clear, settled
weather she was a docile and likeable creature, friendly and
co-operative; but on days of falling barometer and approaching
storm, she became most unruly and erratic.

Nell was an easy and voluminous milker of part Jersey heritage,
but too unreliable for me to handle in my very early years.
Almost as soon as I could reach, I began helping with the least
excitable cows at the morning and evening milking. They were
usually milked outdoors in good weather, and it was my duty
to bring them in from the pasture. Many snappy autumn
mornings I would warm my bare toes under some friendly
bossy before rousing her from her pasture bed.

In my later childhood Nell and I were particularly good
friends most of the time. I loved to play jokes on her and she
retaliated now and then with a well-placed kick which sent me
and the milk pail tumbling. There was no meanness about her,
though, for her big soulful eyes assured me all was forgiven as I
clambered up from each such balancing of the score. I soon
learned, however, to treat her with respect, especially on the
off-weather days, when her temper became brittle and her
sense of humour non-existent. On one such lowering June
morning she most unceremoniously boosted* my mother over a
six-foot gate, while we were trying to take away her week-old
calf. Even to-day, at eighty-two, mother becomes irate when
the memory of that undignified handling is revived.

One of my jokes on Nell still doublés me up with laughter
whenever I recall it. It occurred on one of thosc restless evenings
before a storm, when flies and mosquitoes had made milking
difficult and kept everyone on the move. Just at dusk I carried
out a basketful of com nubbins for the cows, since scarcity of
rain had made the pastures short. Corn to them was like candy
to hungry children, so they quickly gathered around for the
treat. To the first nubbin thrown out I had attached a long piece
of thread, and just as NelPs nose touched the corn I gently
pulled it away. She followed it a step or two, then her ears went

  forward in wonder. Puzzled by this mysterious behaviour of the
nubbin, she regarded it closely a few seconds, then cautiously
reached for it again. This time, as it moved away just beyond
reach of her hungry tongue, she emitted a low, rumbling groan.
A wild look came into her wondering eyes. One more twitch of
the corn and around the corner of the barn she fled with a terrified
bellow, tail pointing high. She might have been as puzzled, but
probably would not have been as emotional, if the trick had
been played on a rising-pressure day.

Horses, especially the more excitable ones, are also very likely
to behave in unexpected ways when the barometer is falling.
They become more irritable, fighting each other and frequently
disobeying orders. On stormy days they are most inclined to
bolt at the slightest opportunity and provide the disastrous
runaways which farm children remember so vividly throughout
their lives. Hogs, too, fight more among themselves on these
days—in fact, I suspect that an hourly count of their fights
through the week would provide a good measure of barometric

Man’s closest companion, the dog, becomes restless and goes
off on his longer scouting trips when a storm is approaching.
In one large American city with a leash-law all loose dogs are
picked up and taken to the pound. The pound-keeper insists
that dogs smell approaching storms and run out to take their
exercise while they can. His pick-ups are much more
numerous on days before bad weather begins. It is only the
restlessness common to all species, however, which drives the
dogs into unwonted activity when the barometer is falling. Like
the farm cattle and horses, dogs also are more perverse then and
likely to snap at a friendly hand. For safety’s saké, confine your
petting of strange canines to rising-pressure days.

Fishermen given to the telling of tall ‘tales become highly
excited about the way fish rise for bait at certain weather phases.
Anglers* journals have discussed the matter at great length,
finally concluding that barometric pressure change is probably
responsible. A dozen fishermen scattered over a lake may have
been casting for hours or days without luck and then have the
fish suddenly strike at every cast made. As a boy I recall that
fishing in our gravel pit was best the day before bad weather set
in, when the barometer had just begun to fall. Several of my
scientific friends who are rabid anglers take the matter quite

People are no more immune to the psychological effect s of
weather change than lower creatures, although the notorious

  pride of Hom sapiens usually prevents him from admitting it.
We all like to blame our occasional “blues” on concrete, reassur-
ing things, such as worries about the future, and during domestic
squabbles each person is dead sure the other person is at fault.
A wiser course might be to take a look at the barometer, for
human beings respond just like other animals to falling atmos-
pheric pressures and approaching storms. Family mombers are
more irritable on lowering days, when husband and wife snap at
each other and the children seem perversity incarnate. All of
us remember the low-barometer evenings when we arrived home
exhausted from a day in which everything went wrong only to
find the whole family on edge and intolerant of every suggestion.
Each person is inclined to overlook his own irritable state and
blame any unpleasantness upon unreasonable attitudes of others.
Those are the evenings children are chastised because a parent
is tired and irritated, although it is true the children themselves
are more likely to be unduly perverse.

A heavy rain clears the air at such times in more ways than
one, for then the barometer usually begins to rise and good
nature again prevails in the home. Even in their sleep many
people are restless before a storm, tossing with vivid and night-
marish dreams. Our whole family sometimes awakens when a
low-pressure crisis comes along in the middle of the night, and
inquiry of other people next day frcquently reveals many
instances of similar behaviour. So, do not always blame a child’s
wakefulness or his refusal to eat what you thought good lor him
upon mere perversity—it may be only the weather!

Perhaps the children of tropical natives are well behaved
because they are not subject to the frequent weather changes
which disturb temperate-zone residents. Human relationships
everywhere would be more peaceful and unruffled if people
would only realize the effect of weather on their dispositions and
make proper allowance for little flare-ups. Try it out on your
own family; you will soon have them laughing off situations
which previously led to disagreeable bitterness. When my wife
and I look at our children asleep after these quarrelsome even-
ings, we often wonder how we could have been so severe. But
our resolve always to keep good-natured with them usually lasts
only until the next period of low pressure.

People subject to severe headaches or fainting spells most often
have their -attacks when the barometer is falling. Attempts at
suicide are then much more likely to occur. Low spirits and an
inability to think clearly lead to a feeling of frustration and
hopelessness in many people. At such times life seems scarcely

  worth while; but as the storm passes on, everything assumes a
more cheerful aspect.

A few years ago in Tokyo statistics showed that people were
more forgetful on low-pressure days. When the barometer was
falling, bus and street-car passengers left more packages and
umbrellas on the vehicles and put an extra burden on the lost-
and-found department. Traffic accidents in American cities are
also most numerous in such weather, but in many cases the
drivers may be hurrying to reach their destinations before the
storm breaks. Industrial accidents, however, show this same
increased frequency on days of falling pressure. Even childbirths
seem precipitated in veritable epidemics at such times, according
to some of my obstetrical friends.

Some people, hypersensitive to weather change, respond to
every cloud which hides the sun. Sunshine and shadow keep their
emotions jumping from elation to depression, and on days of
steadily falling pressure they become morose and dejected. The
exact mechanism by which such weather changes affect human
beings in so many ways is not yet known. One of my fellow
investigators in this field, Dr. Petersen of Ghicago, believes it’s
all due to shifting Chemical balances in the blood and body
tissues, and he may be right. Other preliminary findings indicate
that our tissues take up more water at such times and a resulting
slight swelling of the brain may upset us emotionaily. Since the
evidence is not yet entirely convincing, we can only say that so
far we do not know.

When we are equipped for close study of pressure change
effects under controlled laboratory conditions, we will probably
find just why these things happen to us—and perhaps how they
may be avoided. They result only from several hours of falling
pressure acting on our tissues, for quick ascent in an elevator or
airplane is apparently harmless. Investigations of pressure effects
are being greatly stimulated by the marked increase in air
travel—both civilian and military—and no doubt researchers
will soon be able to report interesting results.

Even though the reason for such effects is a mystery still,
proper appreciation of their presence will take much of the stress
and unpleasantness out of life in stormy regions. In my own
family, greater tolerance is exercised on those days when we
know we can expect each other to be more restless and irritable.
I have learned in my own work that some days are good only for
routine jobs, while on others difficult tasks are readily accom-
plished. A falling barometer is particularly bad for the type of
cerebration required in writing, so much so indeed that para*

  graphs written under such conditions usually need complete
revision. For highest quality output give me an early moming
of rising pressure and a cup of fragrant coffee! Lines written then
are scarcely recognizable as my own after the caffeine effect has
worked off and the pressure has started to fall.

If you are in business, avoid your most difficult customer on
falling-pressure days. His instinctive reaction is most likely to
be curt and unfavourable; he will look upon you with a suspicious
eye. Gall on him when fair weather and a rising barometer are
standing by as your allies. If you must give a lecture or make
some other sort of public appearance, pray that the weather may
be clear and cool. At such times, even the feeblest attempt at
wit will be appreciated and your delivery will be at its peak.
Attack your most difficult problems on the mornings of rising-
pressure days, when to the favourable weather there is added
the barometer’s daily climb from its post-midnight low.

Some day, when we know more definitely just what falling
pressure does to our body efficiency, perhaps we will have
school buildings equipped for pressure control. Then we may
elimlnate those days when both teachers and pupils are ineffi-
ciënt, when everyone is restless, irritable, and susceptible to
wandering attention and blurred intellect. The control of indoor
pressure will probably be one of the future’s major developments
in indoor conditioning, and its first application should certainly
be to school buildings. We shall have more to say in a future
chapter about man’s effort to create made-to-order weather.

chapter 14


1 hose who have spent their lives studying the
dim corners of the subconscious mind teil us that stronger even
than man’s tremendous drive for self-preservation is the deep-
rooted urge to preserve his species on the face of the earth. The
destructive forces of the most violent wars, including the present
conflict, are puny when compared with the long-term interplay
of great forces which make for larger populations. By the year
2000 the world will probably house a half-billion more persons
  than it does to-day—wars or no wars. Despite the fact that
reproduction is one of the most vital of all human functions,
however, many of the factors influencing it are still a great
mystery to modern Science.

What are the reasons for vast population trends? Why is
fertility declining in England, France, and the United States
and rising in Japan and Russia? Although complete answers to
these and other questions are impossible, scientists have studied
certain factors affecting the general picture. Diet plays some part,
but the exact effect is not at all clear. Animal-breeders are
aware that proper food and vitamin supplies are highly important
for the best reproductivity. But in human beings we see highest
birth rates among the most poorly nourished third of the popula-
tion. For some unknown reason, women run down with advanced
tuberculosis or other weakening disease are often quite

The economie factor is undoubtedly important. Perhaps you,
like many other moderns, feel that reproductive fertility is more
of a curse than a boon. Children are no longer economie assets,
it is true, since unlimited and cheap mechanical power has taken
over so much of the world’s work. Expensive staudards of living
make child-rearing and proper education a considerable econo-
mie burden, particularly if the children attend college. Hence
is it that married couples are coming more and more to consider
children a luxury which automatically deprives them of many
other pleasures in life. Most modern women look forward to a
first child as one of life’s greatest experiences, a few welcome the
second, but beyond that it is only the unusual mother who does
more than tolerate further progeny as an unwelcome result of
marital relationship.


  switching area. This was roughly a million tons a year. Each
pound of coal burned in a steam engine changes 5 to 10 pounds
of boiler water into steam. Using the lower figure of 5 pounds of
steam for each pound of coal, I calculated that the railroads
alone would add enough water daily to our city atmosphere to
give o*6 grains per cubic foot of air over an area of 50 square
miles and extending upward for 300 feet. On windless days the
steam would be held within these approximate bounds under
prevailing topographical conditions.

This 0*6 grains per cubic foot of air is a negligible amount
during summer warmth. Air at 90° F. can hold over 10 grains of
water vapour per cubic foot and is not often over 70 per cent.
saturated except during periods of actual rain. As midday
temperatures drop down below 6o° F. through the autumn
months, however, the air holds less water vapour, and additional
nightly cooling brings it to the saturation point. Engine steam
then begins to remain as visible fog instead of disappearing as
invisible water vapour. Fogs form even in country districts
because of this nocturnal cooling and supersaturation of the air,
but their presence in industrial districts is tremendously in-
tensified by the steam liberated from power sources. Thus, no
matter how thoroughly city dwellers eliminate smoke and fly
ash from the air, they should not expect to have clear winter
atmospheres and good visibility unless the steam problem is

The situation is particularly acute on windless winter days
when the blanket of industrial and locomotive steam shrouds
lower-lying urban districts, at times even piling up sufficiently
to hide some of the hilltop spburbs. On such days all the flue
products from the city’s fires are held suspended or in solution
by the steam cloud, and we have to breathe this vile mixture—
often for several days at a time. These periods probably play the
most important role in bringing on respiratory diseases and
general ill health. Fly ash and soot quickly settle to the ground
during the summer, leaving the air fairly clear. But during the
cold, still days of winter steam clouds hold in suspension all the
poisonous flue products, giving us the soupy mixture which has
been aptly called “smog” (smoke and fog).

Many large industrial plants use their exhaust steam to heat
their buildings in winter. Others might follow this example or
at least condense the steam to keep it out of city atmospheres.
Just how feasible condensing devices would be for railroad
engines is a matter of which I have little knowledge. Already
railroads are rapidly changing to Diesel power, however, and

  if the trend continues, steam may become as outmoded as the
horse and buggy. The only other socially beneficial alternative
in heavily populated metropolitan districts is the use of efficiënt
steain condensers or electricity. Use of Diesel or electric loco-
motives would solve both smoke and steam problems so far as the
railfoads are concerned.

For years I have driven from bright suburban sunlight down
into the dense murk of the basin area. And for years I have
wondered how long the people of our American cities would
continue to tolerate such pollution of the air they breathe. At
last they seem really to be awakening to the evils of the foul
artificial climate in which they must live. The drive to produce
materials for the all-important war effort may stimulate further
and faster action by persons who realize that the healthier a
nation is, the bet ter it can fight. The first efforts to cleanse
American urban atmospheres may fall short of the ioo-per-cent.-
effective mark. But only by trial and test will it be possible to
arrivé at a solution of the vital pollution problem. Man may not
be able to control natural weather, but he should be doing a
much better job in straightening up the mess of his own weather-



Northerners encounter still other risks than
those of natural storminess and the man-made smoky
atmospheres over their industrial centres. They are especially
vulnerable to the severe summer heat waves which often settle
over middle latitudes of the United States. The high-metabolism
people of these regions cannot subdue their inner fircs quickly
enough to meet the sudden difficulty{ in heat loss. Thus thousands
of them may develop heatstroke within a few days’ time—and
this at temperatures which would not bother tropical residents
in the least. Heatstroke—in both animals and men—occurs more
frequently in the upper half of the Mississippi River Basin than
anywhere else on earth. Most of the deaths occur during the first
fortnight of a torrid spell, for the body takes about two weeks to
adjust its rate of heat production downwards. After this adapta-
tion has taken place, it can safely stand still higher temperatures.

  Heat which kills men and animals in June or early July can
usually be endured during August.

All warm-blooded animals protect themselves against excessive
heat almost entirely by increased evaporation of water. Their
bodies normally lose heat in three ways—by direct outward
radiation into the surroundings, by conduction to the air or
other materials in direct contact with the body, and by water
evaporation from the skin or mouth and air passages. The first
two avenues of heat loss can operate to advantage only when
surrounding temperatures are below that of the body. They
are thus of little help on days of severe summer heat when extemal
temperature is higher than that of the skin. In fact, the body may
even be taking up heat through these two avenues, especially if
exposed to the direct radiant heat of the sun. Water evaporation
must therefore bear almost the entire burden of heat loss in
times of real stress.

Water is peculiarly well suited for this purpose. In passing
from liquid to vapour form it takes up enormous quantities of
heat, cooling the surfaces from which it is evaporated. Vaporiza-
tion of a pint of water takes four and a half times more heat than
is required to raise the water from the freezing to the boiling
point. This heat of vaporization is said to go into the latent
form, for it disappears without rise in temperature. About three
quarts of water vaporized per day would be needed for the
average resting person to lose all his heat through this channel.
During physical labour or active exercise the amount required
would be three or four times that much.

When the body’s water-evaporation system cannot meet the
extra demands of hot weather and allows too much heat to
accumulate within the tissue, the result is a dreaded heatstroke.
One of my first experiences with this condition—which strikes
animals as well as men—occurred in the Dakota harvest fields
where I worked as a hand at the age of sixteen. The victim was a
valuable and much-loved horse whose death affected me deeply.

Tom was a light Hambletonian carriage horse with plenty of
fire and sparkle to make life interesting on the road, but during
the busy harvest weeks he had been pressed into service tem-
porarily as a substitute for a sick mare in the six-horse team
pulling the header. This was before the day of tractors or power
farm machinery of any sort. Horse-power on the farm still meant
horses. Through the hot forenoon sun Tom forged well out in
front of his slower teammates, trying to urge them to a faster
pace. Such drudging slowness ill fitted his fiery spirit and willing
heart. About ten o’clock he ceased sweating and in another hour

  suddenly began to stagger in the hot sun. His owner, riding the
header, had been watching him closely all morning, trying to
hold him back to a slower pace. He had noticed Tom’s glossy
coat changing from wet to dry, but had delayed action until the
horse actually began to collapse. At the first stumble Tom was
quickly unhitched and his harness taken off, but within five
minutes he was prostrate on the ground, and in another half-
hour he was dead.

That heatstroke death of the farm’s favourite pet and most
willing and intelligent servant just about broke the hearts of the
farmer and his wife. Many days passed before they could smile
again. At that time I knew little about the physiological basis of
heatstroke, but experience with human cases in the years since
then has indicated that Tom’s life could have been saved if he
had been plunged promptly into a tank of cold water to take the
fever out of his system. But there he was, completely prostrated
a half-mile away from any water. We poured the little we had
in our jugs over his head and body, but to no avail.

The tragic death of Tom in the Dakota harvest field, was
typical of a danger for which the wise farmer was always on the
lookout. During July and August heat, any horse which ceased
sweating while at work was always carefully watched for further
signs of trouble. A small drainage ditch ran through our Indiana
farm, and we would sometimes dip up water from it to pour over
the horses if they began to be seriously affected by the heat. We
knew there was little danger as long as free sweating continued.

Other farm animals are much more susceptible than horses
to heatstroke, but they are not forced to do hard work out in
the fields under the hot sun. Cattle develop fever quite readily.
They have a much less effective sweating mechanism and like
to stand in water when the weather gets hot. Hogs and chickens
have almost no sweat glands and are quickly prostrated by
excessive heat—as I learned that hot August day when I neglected
to open the feed-lot gate so the shoats could wallow in the mud
through the midday heat. Hogs provide their own heat pro-
tection if any water or mud is available, but chickens or turkeys
like to keep their feathers dry. Their only method of increasing
heat loss from the body on a hot day is by panting, which
quickens the evaporation of water from the mouth and linings
of the air passages.

Even with their efficiënt water-evaporation method of losing
heat, human beings may be affected by the hundreds during
particularly blazing periods. The grim symptoms of heatstroke
are familiar to physicians. The victim first stops sweating, then

Dcüm   97
  developes headache and high fever. He soon collapses and be-
comes unconscious, with a rise in blood pressure, full, bounding
pulse, and dry, hot skin. Death often comes quickly—just as it
did to Tom in the harvest field—unless the victims are freed of
the accumulated heat. When a heatstroke patiënt is brought into
the hospital, he is immediately placed in an iced bath and
massaged vigorously until internal temperatures have dropped
almost to the normal level. He is then taken out of the tub and
wrapped in wet blankets to get rid of the last tracés of fever more
slowly. If the massage in the ice-water bath lasts too long, the
body temperature may drop far below normal, bringing on a
condition of shock. Many heatstroke patients died of such shock
before this fact was properly appreciated.

To be most effective, heatstroke treatment must be started
soon after the patiënt has collapsed, and the sooner the better,
for the high internal temperature brings quick damage to vital
body tissues. Any victim should immediately receive the benefit
of whatever cooling facilities are at hand, even though it is
nothing more than dousing with a pail of water and vigorous
fanning to speed evaporation. Such emergency measures, applied
while the victim is being hurried to better cooling facilities,
greatly improve the chances of recovery.

Such attacks are common in parts of the United States. In
early July of 1934 severe heat settled over Cincinnati, St. Louis,
Kansas City, and other population masses living in that portion
of the Mississippi Basin, prostrating many people and actually
killing over five thousand. Two years later heat came in mid-
August and killed relatively few veteran heat sufferers in these
cities. Farther north, however, in Omaha, Minneapolis, Chicago,
Detroit, and other mid-western cities of similar latitude, this
heat was fatal to thousands who were unaccustomed to such
acute difficulty in losing body heat.

During the first week of the 1934 heat I went by automobile
from Cincinnati to Kansas City, passing through the Indiana
and Illinois harvest fields. Horses were dying of heatstroke by
the hundreds, and tales of human prostration greeted me at
every place I stopped. A hush of awe and dread had settled over
the country as the margin between life and death seemed to be
narrowing down to the vanishing point. In Cincinnati, ambu-
lances were busy day and night, bringing prostrated and un-
conscious victims to the hospital for treatment. Body temperatures
of iio° F. were not uncommon, and many victims died before
they could be placed in the iced baths for quick cooling. In the
1936 heat wave we were somewhat better organized to handle

  the heat cases, with police and hospital ambulances carrying
ice so that the cooling of the victims could begin as soon as they
were picked up.

One man working in the railroad yards became dizzy at one
o’clock on a July aftemoon, feit hot and started to walk home
about an hour later. He collapsed after going four blocks, was
picked up by an ambulance, and became conscious again only
after his body temperature was approaching normal in the iced
bath at the hospital. When he reached the institution at half-past
three his temperature was 109° F. Twenty-five minutes later
in the iced bath it was 102° F. He was then removed from the
tub and wrapped in cold blankets so that the last remnants of
fever could die down at a slower rate. In another forty-five
minutes his temperature was 98.2° and he feit almost normal.

Acute difficulty in losing body heat may affect people in
quite a different way, producing so-called heat exhaustion.
lts onset, less sudden than that of heatstroke, comes with weak-
ness, prostration, lo’w blood pressure, and weak, rapid pulse.
The skin is pale and wet with a clammy perspiration, although
in certain cases there may be some fever. Stomach cramps,
vomiting, and diarrhoea often accompany heat exhaustion and
accentuate the patient’s collapse. To plunge such a person into
a cold bath—as one would a heatstroke victim—might bring on
a fatal shock. What hc needs is stimulation and the application
of warm packs if his temperature is subnormal.

Another common effect of heat is connected with the body’s
water-evaporating efforts to keep cool. Water excreted through
the sweat glands carries out with it considerable quantities of
salt, and people working in hot environments are liable to
become ill simply from loss of too much body salt. Muscle
cramps, weakness, dizziness, prostration, nausea, and vomiting
may occur, with prompt relief when the lost minerals are re-
placed by simply swallowing salt water. This form of severe
heat effect is seen in boiler or furnace rooms, in certain processing
plants where the product requires hot moist air, and among all
workmen doing hard labour under difïicult conditions of heat
loss. Under such circumstances men are now advised to keep
salt tablets handy for use at the first hint of trouble and to drink
salt water instead of regular drinking water. Many offices in
Washington, D.C., which is notorious for its scorching humid
summers, have a handy supply of salt tablets for desperate

The case of a thirty-year-old coloured foundry employee
illustrates quite well the problem of heat cramps. One sultry

  June day, while working in the hot foundry environment, he
drank immense amounts of water and cold beverages to make
up for his sweating losses. About noon he vomited and was
seized wth severe cramps in his hands, arms, legs, and abdomen.
Large knots of cramping muscle stood out on his body and
caused excruciating pain. He was taken to the nearby emergency
hospital and given a quart of salt solution—with almost instant
relief. Thousands of industrial workers are now saved simiiar
trouble by keeping salt tablets at hand to eat or dissolve in
drinking water during periods of excessive sweating. As we
might expect from our findings in Chapter IV, some industrial
plants are also finding that equal or better protection may be
afforded by a few milligrams of thiamin (vitamin Bx).

Bathers often suffer from cramps during hot-weather swimming
because of this same body salt loss. Sudden chilling in cold water,
after previous perspiration in the heat, brings on the painful
symptoms. A simiiar cramping tendency of the muscles is also
present during the digestion of meals when large amounts of
salt-containing fluids are being poured into the stomach and
intestines for digestion of the food. That is the scientific basis for
the warning against going in swimming immediately after

But heatstroke is the most common hot-weather threat to
energetic northerners. It is important and interesting to know
that certain groups among the population are more susceptible
than others. Elderly people, especially those with high blood
pressure or hardening of the arteries, are most likely to be
stricken. Difficulty in gctting rid of the body’s waste heat causes
a spceding-up of blood flow from internal organs to the skin, a
process which brings heat to the surface where it can be dissipated
more rapidly. This increased blood flow throws greater work
on the heart and is liable to bring on heart failure in people
whose margin of safety has already been reduced.

Chronic alcoholics are also particularly sensitive to heatstroke.
Many victims reveal a history of habitual drinking, or else
doctors find they had been drinking just before collapsing in the
heat. The relationship between alcohol and heatstroke is probably
due to liquor’s effect upon the brain centres and a disturbance
of the intricate nervous control over the sweating mechanism.
Medical experience indicates that alcoholic drinks should be
avoided or used sparingly during severe heat. Even in the tropics,
where a low combustion rate reduces the danger of heatstroke.
people usually forgo strong alcoholic drinks during midday heat.

One of my friends with several decades of tropical experience



  Pittsburgh, but the published findings were only of a general
nature and inconclusive.   *

I therefore decided to see what specific evidences of harm I
could find in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, choosing these two cities
for two reasons. Each has good soot-fall and death-rate data by
census tracts or soot-fall districts over a number of years, and
each has a local topography which presents sharp contrasts in
smoke density. Pollution is severe in the low-lying bottoms
districts of both cities and is relatively mild in their hilltop
suburbs, especially those situated to the west of the industrial
sections. The facts unearthed in this study leave no doubt of
smoke’s evil effects. The respiratory disease situation thus
uncovered is severe enough to demand vigorous action regardless
of cost as soon as the war emergency and coal shortage have

The threat is illustrated by the case of a friend of mine from
New York who recently stopped for a few days in Cincinnati on
his way to the South-west. The weather happened to be lowering,
with little movement in the muggy air—the kind that keeps our
smoke as a heavy blanket over the low-lying basin area of the
city. My friend developed an extremely severe respiratory
infection and frantically called for me by telephone from one
of the hotels down under the smoke. (The incident happened
just at a time when I was out seeking for evidences of its effect
upon the city’s population.) Unable to find me, he finally called
another physician, who sent him to a hilltop hospital.

This man claimed that he was always affected in this fashion
if he stopped in Cincinnati during the winter season, and he was
convinced that the smoke was responsible. This time he came
very near to pneumonia, with considcrable fever and acute
inflammation well down in the smaller air passages. Treatment
with the newer Chemicals which have proved so effective in
pneumococcic infections soon made him well again, but the
experience has only deepened his conviction that our city* smoke
is dangerous.

Smoke’s chief effects are naturally upon tissues of the respira-
tory system, from nose to lungs, for these are the body surfaces
brought into most intimate contact with the dirty air. My
search for harmful effects thus centred around pneumonia,
tuberculosis, and lung cancer, since these are the respiratory
diseases which kill and leave death records for study. Information
on sinusitis, bronchitis, and colds would be even more interesting,
but these milder diseases rarely kill and no records of their
incidence are available.

  The pneumonia situation is most striking in its relation to
smoke, so let’s look atit first. My New York friend was indeed
fortunate to have escaped pneumonia, for it strikes with great
frequency each winter among people living in the dirty air of
our congested industrial districts. During 1937 and 1938 in
Gincinnati there were 480 pneumonia deaths among 178,000
residents of our low-lying census tracts and only 160 among

277,000   people of the hültop suburbs! Three-quarters of the
city’s pneumonia deaths in only a little over a third of its

This was at first thought to be due to overcrowding in the
basin area where family incomes are lowest. Pneumonia is a
contagious disease, it is true, and overcrowding does tend to
spread it from one victim to the next. But this does not explain
why the men in these areas should have almost three times as
much pneumonia as do the women living alongside them!
In the cleaner suburban districts men have only Slightly more
(5 per cent.) pneumonia than their wives, but as smoke pollution
increases, the male rate rises much faster than the female. In
the dirtiest sections the men have three to five times as much
pneumonia as the women!

This greater pneumonia hazard of the city labourer cannot
be due to his outdoor exposure to chilling, for men on Ohio’s
farms have only 5 per cent. more pneumonia than their wives
(just as in the clean city suburbs). Nor can it be a result of their
low economie status and faulty diet, for men are usually better
nourished than their wives. The only reasonable conclusion left
is that the high rate is due to the outdoor smoke-laden atmos-
phere in which the men as a rule spend the most time. Those
remaining indoors do not escape entirely but they are much
less affected.

In both Gincinnati and Pittsburgh the railroads enter largely
along valley routes, and industrial plants have naturally located
along the railroads. Major use of soft coal thus takes place in the
low-lying districts, and on days of little air motion the smoke
from these sources hangs suspended in the valley sections. In
both cities the pneumonia death rates fall rapidly with each
hundred feet of ascent up from the valley bottoms. The death
rate is three to ten times higher in the dirty basin districts than
out in the cleaner air of the suburbs.

Tuberculosis deaths are also far more common in the most
smoky parts of the city. The rates are many times higher than
out in the clean suburban air and are markedly higher for men
than for women. Negroes, many of whom have migrated from

  the South, cohgregate mainly in these dirty districts and have
tuberculosis and pneumonia death rates twice as high as the top
rates of the white population. Regardless of race, any group
migrating from Southern States will be far more susceptible to
respiratory infection than will native northerners, but these
migrants are particularly unfortunate when they settle in our
most polluted districts.

The distribution of soot-fall (both carbon particles and fly
ash) in various parts of the city bears a direct relation to pneu-
monia and tuberculosis deaths: The very districts having most
excessive soot-fall are the ones with highest respiratory death
rates, while in the cleanest suburban areas such deaths are
quite negligible in number.

Most of the city’s lung cancers also develop in these same
dirty basin districts, people there being about three times more
likely to develop the disease than are suburban residents. This
form of cancer, too, is several times more frequent in men than
in women. That the non-contagious, non-infectious lung disease
should show the same relation to soot-fall as do tuberculosis and
pneumonia is strongly suggestive that air pollution may be the
damaging factor. That men, who are out in the dirty air much
more than women, should be so much more afflicted with all
three of the lung diseases only adds to the suspicion that air
pollution is largely responsible for these hcalth hazards of dirty

In presenting these findings, I do not intend to belittle the
evil effects of overcrowding, poverty, and malnutrition which
are so prevalent in our basin districts. The harmful effects of
smoke are only added to these other hazards which confront
the unfortunate residents of polluted regions. It is difficult to
assess accurately the relative importance of the various health
handicaps they face, but air pollution is probably responsible
for many respiratory illnesses than all other factors combined.
Since respiratory troubles are by far the most frequent causes of
ill health among people of temperate regions, it would scem
imperative that steps be taken to eliminate the smoke hazard
which so severely intensifies this type of illness in our polluted
urban districts. Urgency is dictated not only by common human
impulses, but also by a realization of the tremendous loss of man-
hours among workers in war industries who are stricken by the
smoky excrements of their own factories.

Perhaps most city residents have given*little thought to just
what materials they are taking in with the air they breathe.
The black smoke you see is largely carbon, and you have probably

  been told that carbon is harmless—may indeed'be beneficia!.
It is harmless if it is pure carbon, but that issuing from smoky
chimneys is far from pure. Coal-tar compounds in soft coal are
also liberated as gases under the same furnace conditions which
produce the black smoke. As these gases cool in the upper
chimney, they condense on the carbon and ash particles present
in the smoke and are thus carried out over the city. Soft-coal
soot from the chimneys of English homes has been found to be
almost half coal tar in some instances. High-volatile coals
liberate the largest amounts of both soot and coal tar when im-
properly fired; if burned smokelessly, then both tar and carbon
are consumed in the firebox. These tarry substances which
condense on smoke particles contain the cancer-producing
Chemicals used in experimental cancer studies and are coming
to be seriously suspected as a possible cause for the lung cancer
increase among the people of our city slums.

Along with the carbon in smoke goes a considerable amount
of so-called “fly ash” composed of much the same sort of silicate
compounds which killed so many hundreds of tunnel and quarry
workers exposed to the fine rock dust produced in blasting
operations. It was formerly thought that these particles irritated
the lungs because of their sharp cutting edges, but now their
action is considered to be a Chemical rather than a physical
irritation. Before proper precautions were instituted, these
particles produced deadly silicosis among tunnel workers. But
the ailment is seldom seen among city residents exposed to fly
ash. It is possible that a lower grade of irritation may be respon-
sible for their increased susceptibility to respiratory troubles.
Similar fly-ash irritation in the nasal sinuses probably plays a
large part in the prevalence of sinusitis among dwellers in our
coal-burning cities. One might expect suburban residents who
work daily in the downtown basin area to be affected almost as
much as the basin “natives.” Most of these people, however,
work in indoor atmospheres which are much less polluted and
sleep at night under cleaner air conditions.

Carbon soot has been decreasing in recent years, because more
factories and homes have installed mechanical stokers and
secured better burning of the cheap grades of soft coal. Atmos-
pheric fly ash, however, is thicker than ever because more violent
mechanical draughts in fireboxes and chimneys have carried larger
proportions of furnace ash out into the air. The great heating
plants of industrial, apartment, and office buildings add to the
fly-ash problem by their nightly blowing-out of the accumulated
material in their stacks. This material should be trapped and

  removed from below instead of being permitted to escape and
contaminate the sleeping city.

Still another important smoke constituent is the sulphur
which passes off in the form of oxide gases. Sulphur oxides
become highly irritating and corrosive acids when dissolved in
water. It was probably this type of irritation which affected the
noses and air-passage linings of St. Louis residents and, more
than any other factor, inspired that city’s successful anti-smoke
crusade. Coals burned there have a high sulphur content (3-5 per
cent.). At times the atmosphere became really choking from
these fumes. Out-of-towners usually transacted their business
as quickly as possible on such days and then rushed away to less
irritating atmospheres outside the city. Many centres are much
more fortunate in being supplied with coals of lower sulphur
content, but even so there is still enough of these acid fumes to
etch stone buildings and disintegrate outdoor paints and exposed
metal surfaces.

Fly ash, sulphur fumes, and carbon soot loaded with coal tar—
these are the damaging factors in city smoke as far as man himself
is concerned. Cutting off of sunlight is probably the least im-
portant loss, for normal winter cloudiness and the acute angle
at which winter sunlight strikes the earth in Cincinnati make it
necessary for us to get our vitamin D supply from food sources
during the smoky season. Considering the matter from the
respiratory disease standpoint alone, urban residents are fully
justified in taking any steps necessary for abolishing the smoke
pollution evil. Several cities are becoming greatly concerned
over the situation, and as usuai there are economie interests
which oppose the needed changes. A half-century ago
similar objections were raised against plans for purifiction of
city water supplies. It was only the clear-cut demonstration that
typhoid and other enteric fevers from polluted water were killing
thousands each year that forced the acceptance of water purifi-
cation. Similarly, purified city air will probably remain a mere
hope until enough citizens properly appreciate the hcalth
hazards of smoky atmospheres.

If any smoke-abatement programme is to lessen air pollution
hazards, it must consider certain fundamental factors. Carbon
soot and coal-tar compounds flow into city air almost exclusively
as a result of the faulty burning of high-volatile soft coals. Such
coals can be burned smokelessly with proper furnace equipment.
Hence, abatement campaigns are being conducted mainly along
the lines of prohibiting the use of high-volatile soft coals unless
proper equipment is available for burning them without smoke.

  Few industrial plants (except for blast-furnace operation) use
any coals except the cheaper, high-volatile types which are
obtainable in' largest quantities. Proper equipment enables these
companies to burn such coals smokelessly and without loss of
unburned fuel through smokestacks. Increasing numbers of
home-owners are also installing efficiënt mechanical stokers for-
these cheap coals. All that is necessary to do away with the black
smoke evil completely is to insist that the rest of the homes and
the railroad engines either burn low-volatile coals or obtain
equipment for the proper handling of the high-volatile varieties.

Relief from black smoke, however, in no way lessons the fly-
ash problem. The ash content of coal is not related to its load
of volatile materials or its tendency to smoke when improperly
burned. In fact hard coals with almost no volatile matter may
yield just as much ash as the high-volatile soft coals. Entirely
separate steps must be taken to clear city atmospheres of fly-ash
hazards. Better settling chambers or traps for the flue ash, or the
use of water sprays to cleanse the chimney gases, will do the trick.
Relief may often be obtained simply by avoiding sudden air
blasts into the firebox. Many types of home stokers have only one
speed for their draught fan, and the sudden air blast as the fan comes
on carries large quantities of fine ash up the chimney. A more
gradual onset of the draught current would remedy this situation.

Washing of flue gases with water sprays would eliminate most
sulphur gases as well as solid soot and ash particles. In fact, this
is practically the only method by which the sulphur oxides could
be removed. Proper firing to eliminate visible smoke will in no
way lessen sulphur-oxide fumes—it might even slightly increase
them by providing for better oxidation of the last tracés of
sulphur in the coal. So St. Louis, even with her stringent anti-
smoke ordinance, may find her atmosphere just as choking and
corrosive as ever unless she compels spray washing of flue gases.
Her water supply would prove quite inadequate for such washing
in all her chimneys, but in the larger coal-burning plants water
could be used over and over again after proper treatment.

The amount of carbon soot deposited over Cincinnati has
been declining in recent years with the increase of stokers and
gas or oil fumaces. Greater use of coke has also helped. However,
fly ash has increased even more than carbon soot has decreased,
so the net health situation is worse instead of better. Evidently
some highly technical consideration must be given to smoke
elimination before genuine relief can be obtained.

One highly vocal objection raised by certain politicians and
economie groups is that nothing should be done which would

  increase the financial burden of poor people residing in polluted
districts. To be sure, low-volatile coals and coke cost more than
the high-volatile varieties and are difficult to bum in the make-
shift stoves of slum districts. Newer types of firebox arrange-
ipents, however, will solve that problem; a two-chambered
firebox has been devised in which the coal bums freely on one
side while new coal on the other side is being coked by the heat.
Liberated gases are forced to burn in the flame of the open side.
When new coal is needed, it is placed in the burned-out side and
permitted to coke while the heat-treated coal on the other side
is burning. With such an arrangement, high-volatile coals could
be burned with little smoke in the poorest home.

Lacking storage space for fuel, the poor usually buy their coal
in small lots from hucksters. Hence, fuel costs dearly and high-
volatile coals are usually used which burn most freely in make-
shift stoves. Establishment of city-controlled fuel depots where
these people could obtain their own coal would provide better
fuel for the same money. New-type stoves to burn even high-
volatile coals smokelessly, and with more economical-combustion,
would save enough on two years’ fuel bill to pay for the new
stove. Thus the poor need not suffer. On the contrary, they
would enjoy lower heating costs and, from a health viewpoint,
would gain most from a lessening of the pollution evil.

We have not yet even considered the greatest pollution element
in city air, the element most responsible for lowcred visibility
and winter “smog.” This factor is the steam given off from
industrial power plants and locomotives. Soot-fall over Cincin-
nati is in the neighbourhood of a half million tons a year, while
the railroads alone liberate about ten times that much steam
into the city atmosphere. The steam quickly turns into invisible
water vapour during the summer when the air’s water-holding
capacity is high. Cold winter air holds little water vapour,
however, so all added steam then remains as fog to becloud our

For several years I tried to find out just how much steam the
railroads actually produced daily in our metropolitan area.
Officials made evasive replies and continually referred my
inquiries from person to person, bringing me to an utter dead-
end as far as information was concerned. But during recent
hearings before a committee attempting to draft a municipal
anti-smoke ordinance, I did obtain the desired information in a
roundabout manner. Upon questioning, the railroad and coal
representatives revealed the approximate amount of coal used
annually by locomotives operating within the Cincinnati