Anthony Watts @ Watts Up With That:
People send me stuff.
Reader Kurt writes:
I just found your excellent website and have book marked it and will visit it often for updates. One simple question the global warm-mongers have never been able to answer is…
…that if in fact warming is taking place as they claim, what then is the optimum temperature of the Earth? Can they give us a number? is it 55 degrees? 78 degrees? 85 degrees? 98.6? Al Gore says the Earth has a fever – then what is the “normal” temperature?
I thought about that long and hard, and thought to myself that it is sort of like a “Goldilocks” subjective temperature for porridge:
At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
“This porridge is too cold,” she said
So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.
“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.
But what is “just right” for Earth’s temperature? Depending on who you might ask, I suspect you’d get different answers.
Ancient Greece, living in their age of enlightenment, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC might remark “είναι σωστό τώρα, τον πολιτισμό μας ευδοκιμεί” or “it is correct now, our civilization is thriving”.
The Romans, who lived through the Roman Warm Period from 250 BC to 400 might say “frigus quam praesens placere” or “cooler than the present please”.
During the Islamic Golden Age of expansion, 622-750AD, They might argue the temperature was “just right” for them.
In the Medieval Warm Period, from about AD 950 to 1250, when humanity started to thrive, they would probably say the porridge was “just right”.
Right after that, the Vikings in Greenland would probably have asked
OnanOdin for some extra warmth.
During the Little ice Age, from 1300-1850 it would seem certain most people would ask for it to be warmer, especially since it had such a well documented negative effect on human history.
As for now for 1850 to present? Well, it just safe to call it the tail end of the Holocene Climatic Optimum although some people think it is too warm and are actively campaigning to reduce Earth’s temperature.
After thinking about how those previous civilizations in time might perceive their preferred temperature, and thinking about Kurt’s question, I realized that it might very well be an intractable problem, aka the Gordian Knot: