Twenty years ago, public outcry was “stop global warming.” When extreme warming didn’t happen, public outcry changed to “stop climate change.”
A book titled The Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan, professor of archaeology at University of California, Santa Barbara is a good source, contrasting Earth’s last global warming—950-1300 AD—and global cooling—1300 to 1880 AD.
World temperature records did not exist until 1870. Daniel Fahrenheit invented the thermometer in 1724. It took 150 years to build worldwide weather stations. Temperature records between 1724 and 1880 are from the Little Ice Age.
The need to stop global warming results from fear of flooding in coastal areas caused by melting polar ice. In recent years, reported “record high temperatures were local, not global. The real issue is the threat of severe flooding.
While we don’t have temperature readings from prior global warming, precise records of sea levels exist, based of elevation of deposits of sea-life forms along coastal waters.
3,500 years ago, during the Minoan warming period, sea level was about 7 feet higher than now. Between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, it was about 12 feet higher than now. 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, sea level was about 45 feet higher than now. Earth has been cooling for the last 10,000 years.
To have severe coastal flooding now, much more polar ice would have to melt now than back then. Bear in mind that polar ice increases and decrease with seasonal changes.