Aggressive Regionalism: Texts
5. Erwin L. Weber, In the Zone of Filtered Sunshine
Erwin L. Weber, In the Zone of Filtered Sunshine: Why the Pacific Northwest is Destined to Dominate the Commercial World
(Seattle: Seattle Chamber of Commerce, 1924), 4, 11, 12, 14, 20.
The Homing Instinct
One of the dominant emotions of mankind is the homing instinct. If this instinct is not satisfied mankind will restlessly wander about, seeking the home of his forebear—his cradle—or one with a similar, homelike environment.
Large numbers of the Nordic race left their homes in the British Isles, Northern France and Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Southern Scandinavia many generations ago. Wherever they, or their descendants, settled in the United States, it was not their homeland. The summers were too hot and oppressive, the winters were too cold, and the glare of the sunshine was too great.
Many were allured by the cries of “sunshine,” like the moth to the flame, and migrated to the South and the Southwest. It was an improvement; the severity of the winters was avoided, but the heat of the summers and the glare of the sunshine were still prevalent. It was not like the homeland and the ”homing instinct” was left unsatisfied.
The present migratory movement to the Pacific Northwest will satisfy that “homing instinct,” for there will be found the only part of the North American continent with a climate and environment identical with that of the homeland—the cradle of the race.
Why Nordic Europe Attained Supremacy
Recognized authorities agree that the highest types of progressive peoples in this country either came from Nordic Europe, or can trace their ancestry to that section of Europe.
The charts on the opposite page depict the climates of London, Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen, which are typical of that region, and graphically show the conditions to which the supremacy of Nordic Europe is rightfully attributable.
The unshaded red areas represent conditions of gentle warmth and the shaded red areas (see following page) those above the physical optimum and too warm even for resting. The unshaded yellow areas represent conditions ideally cool for physical and mental activity and the shaded yellow areas, below 36° wet-bulb (38° dry-bulb at 83% relative humidity), below the mental optimum and hence unnecessarily cold.
Precipitation is shown as a cumulative graph -P- in inches, and the monthly precipitation is represented by the vertical bars -X- at the end of each month in tenths of inches. For example, in London the average precipitation for July is 2.19” and the accumulated precipitation from January 1 to the end of July is 11.78”. All graphs are based upon monthly averages.
The outstanding features of these charts are:
Well and gracefully defined seasons, with wet-bulb temperatures ranging between the physical optimum W and the mental optimum M, but not greatly exceeding them.
High relative humidity in winter and moderately high in summer.
No excessive heat. (Absence of shaded red).
No excessive cold. (Absence of shaded yellow).
Extremely low percentage of intense sunshine.
In this region large amounts of bodily energy were not needed to combat excessive heat or cold, nor to develop and maintain pigmentation as a protection against intense sunshine. Hence these people were enabled to utilize the maximum of bodily energy for useful work and the attainment of a degree of civilization superior to that of their less fortunately located neighbors. Their climate gave them the energy and stamina to effectively develop all their natural resources, procure from other regions those materials which they did not possess, and to dominate the affairs of the world.
The freedom from climactic extremes was also favorable for the development of all industries depending upon materials of animal and vegetable origin, and for raising the most perfect and productive types of domesticated animals.
The False Gospel of Sunshine
For a number of years the people of this country have been regaled with the gospel of sunshine. This is not the first time in history that a similar mistaken idea has caused a large immigration of Nordic people.
Roughly three thousand years ago Athens, with a climate very similar to that of Southern California, attracted the Hellenes (white) and experienced what today would be termed a “boom.”
The over-stimulating effect of the sunshine temporarily inspired the white immigrants to great physical and mental activity. Marvelous buildings were feverishly erected. Science, art and religion developed rapidly. Bodies and intellects were strained to the utmost under the influence of the Goddess Sunshine. But the white Hellenes could not withstand the climate. Some returned to their natural homeland, the rest degenerated and fully became subservient to those with skins of darker pigmentation, who were thus fitted by nature to survive under the effects of the intense sunshine.
History repeated itself in the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Again a white Nordic people set up a brilliant civilization, again the climate overcame them and again their achievements fell into the hands of a darker people. The rise and fall of Spain was due to similar causes.
The Nordic Races flourish best where there is less than 2000 hours of intense sunshine per annum, fall off in numbers and efficiency at more than 2500 hours, and suffer rapid deterioration wherever the intense sunshine exceeds 3000 hours per annum (see chart on page 8). Progressive and energetic men and women were not developed basking in the sunshine on a pile of sand, or seated under the shade of a palm tree.
Already in southern California (where the intensity of the sunshine is the same as that of the Mediterranean Basin, Northern Africa, Arabia, Persia and India), many important industries are dominated by Spanish, Italian and Greek interests, and the Bank of Italy is growing at an astonishing rate. The Mediterranean races and their descendants will undoubtedly ultimately dominate that section.
This mania for announcing sunshine has arrived at such a ridiculous stage that we find one community after another anxiously searching the weather bureau records for a possible hour of sunshine that might have been overlooked. Even some of our most arid desert sections almost hysterically announce that they receive the same amount of intense sunshine as Cairo, and are even dryer than that city; from which civilization, health and “energy” departed ages ago. (See pages 15 and 19.)
NOTE:—The red areas on the cover show the earthquake regions bordering the Pacific Ocean as determined by Edgar W. Woolard, Division of Seismological Investigations, U. S. Weather Bureau.
Why Civilizations Have Decayed
On the charts for Madrid, Rome and Athens, and on the charts for Cairo and Calcutta on the opposite page, we retrogress along the path of Aryan civilization. These charts show clearly why the civilizations of those regions decayed. Extreme heat, excess of intense sunshine, and the absence of the stimulus of a moderate winter completely broke down the stamina of those peoples and made them self-indulgent, inactive and unprogressive. Similarly extreme conditions, as shown by the charts for New Orleans and San Antonio, are typical of practically the entire South.
Such a climate will break down the stamina and resistance of any peoples, hence Great Britain in her colonial policies has long ago recognized the wisdom of not allowing her officials to live for a long period in such climates, but provides for their frequent return to the more suitable and re-creative climate of the homeland.
The charts for Cairo and Calcutta show that the amount of rainfall has no direct effect upon civilization. A rainfall of less than 20 inches per annum will naturally diminish agricultural productivity, which in turn will decrease the power of the soil to sustain a dense population, unless irrigation is practiced, whereas a greater rainfall increases the productivity of the soil, and thus assists in the development of civilization.
When settlers first came to this country they did not select their homes from the standpoint of fitness of climate and environment for their survival, or the survival of their offspring. Even the farmers planted crops at random and did not consider their adaptability to the soil or climate. Modern agriculture endeavors to increase productivity thru carefully selecting plant varieties suited to the soil and climate of each region. It would be folly to expect date palms to flourish in Siberia. Yet we find thousands of Nordic types settled in parts of the United States in which they are utterly unfitted for survival.
Survival of the fittest is a matter of adaptation to environment and requires the evolution of a type. This takes many generations to accomplish. A crop not suited to its location will gradually grow weaker, and after a few generations will suffer extinction. Yet, many Nordic peoples and their descendants, living in sections of the United States unfavorable to their existence, wonder why they continually suffer from headaches and eye strain during the summer, and from colds and bronchial troubles in the winter. They wonder why the children are anemic and not so strong and hardy as grandfather and grandmother used to be.
Such conditions indicate non-adaptation of the individual to the environment in which he lives and presage the beginning of a decadence, which in the course of a few generations will result in the extinction of that type. Migration to a better adapted and more “homelike” climate is the most rational remedy.
Why the Pacific Northwest is Destined by Nature to Dominate the Commercial World
Upon the opposite page is shown the climatic chart of Seattle, which is typical of the Puget Sound region.
Compare that chart with those of London, Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen, shown on page 10, and note:
The same well and gracefully defined seasons.
The same curve of relative humidity.
The same absence of excessive heat. (Shaded red).
The same absence of excessive cold. (Shaded yellow).
And above all, note the same small percentage of intense sunshine and high percentage of filtered sunshine—sunshine filtered thru the clouds. It is indeed the ideal home for the Nordic Races upon the North American Continent, and the ideal summer playground of America.
Puget Sound is economically nearer to the center of population of the world than Nordic Europe. It lies nearer to the awakening Orient, to the millions in North and South America, to Australia, Alaska, Siberia and the greater part of India. Regions containing nearly 60% of the population of the world, and the greatest wealth of unexploited and unexhausted natural resources. Regions which, with their developing civilization, will become the world’s greatest marked for manufactured products.
Daily increasing advantages in geographical location. A climate best suited for the hardiest and most energetic types of humanity, and giving from 20% to 30% greater labor efficiency than any other part of the United States. The ideal soil and climatic conditions for raising the most useful domesticated animals. Natural atmospheric conditions favorable for the textile and all other industries using materials of animal or vegetable origin.
Vast natural resources of timber and minerals. Copious quantities of pure glacial water and unlimited hydro electric power (see map on page 26.) The healthiest climate in the world. With these God-given advantages there can be no question of the ultimate destiny of the Pacific Northwest; to dominate the commercial world.
How soon this will evolve depends solely upon how rapidly the manifold advantages of the Pacific Northwest are made known to those in whom the “homing instinct” is still left unsatisfied.
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