After reading the answers to my previous question I have come to the conclusion that an answer to the following question is what I was actually looking for:
Does a particular version of the kernel require a particular version of libc to run properly?
Basically my problem stems from building an application on my 12.04 ubuntu and trying to run it on 8.04. I have since learned from this and other stackexchange forums that it is backward compatibility of libc that causes these problems. Therefore what I am perhaps naively trying to do is build the same version of libc that exists on my target and then link against that on my host when I build the application. Then in an ideal world when I copy this to the host, having been linked to the "correct" libc it should work (in my head at least). I have been totally unable to find a way to install an older libc on my system, and wondered if each version is tightly bound to a kernel version, hence the above question.