A letter that was recently published in the UK Daily Mail about the work of Raymond H Wheeler prompted me to find out more:
Professor Raymond H. Wheeler (University of Kansas) compiled 20 centuries of historical records, and concluded from his studies that there exists a most important 100-year-cycle of climatic changes that influences human affairs in a profound manner.
The cycle occurs in four distinct phases, which are descriptive of worldwide conditions rather than specific areas. The four phases are disturbed by secondary leads and delays — as much as 10 years — in isolated and widely separated areas. Prof Wheeler stated:
“The climatic curve is intended to represent — as far as one curve can — the weather trend in the world as a whole at any one time. The curve has no absolute significance. The meaning of the curve at any one time is relative to the pattern of the 100-year old cycle as a whole.”
The 100-year weather cycle and its phases are not of precisely equal duration. The cycle can contract to 70 years or expand to 120. The cycle is divided into a warm and a cold phase, each of which has a wet and dry period. Because people are affected by weather, the cycles of weather produce similar patterns of behaviour and events in history during the same phases of the century-long weather cycle. The phases are: (1) Cold-Dry, (2) Warm-Wet, (3) Warm-Dry, and (4) Cold-Wet. We are now in a cold-dry phase, which will prevail until about 2000 A.D.
Dr. Wheeler extended his research to reveal a continuous, universal cultural pattern of “mechanism” alternating with “humanism” that occurs throughout history synchronously with the 100-year weather cycle……………….
I find this phrase uncannily representative of the modern warm period:
“Second, the decline, onset of decadence, the growing excesses of centralized government, the emergence of dictators, tyranny, fanaticism, communism, and socialism, as the warm epoch continued, and as temperatures and dryness increased.”
Most of the material that we have about Wheeler is found in the book Climate: The Key To Understanding Business Cycles by Raymond Wheeler, (Revised & Edited by Michael Zahorchak). This volume summarizes Raymond H. Wheeler’s extensive research with long climatic cycles and their relationship to the business cycle. In the 1930’s Wheeler began a lifetime study that analysed world climate and cultural activities back to the dawn of recorded civilization.
Wheeler was also the creator of a huge volume known as “The Big Book” which was housed at the Foundation for the Study of Cycles until the late 1990s.
Cycles Research Institute: Raymond H Wheeler
Letter published in the UK Daily Mail: