Shock and dismay were rippling through the Qatar National Convention Centre today after it emerged that an unfortunate translation error is to blame for the Emir of Qatar’s hitherto unexplained enthusiasm to host the 2012 UN climate talks.
Seemingly, a careless translator mistook “climate change” for “climate control” which was then translated into Arabic as “air conditioning”, thereby presenting the Emir with an invitation for bids to host the 2012 United Nations Air Conditioning Conference. On admitting the error, a senior minister said “we thought we would be welcoming the world’s best air conditioning manufacturers to our sandy shores. That’s something we can really relate to. I can’t believe you guys at the UN didn’t spot the error. What, you really thought we were interested in hosting a major environment conference? Seriously?”
The Minister went on to explain that whilst Qatar is already a major importer of finest-quality air-conditioning equipment – given its recent construction boom and scorching summer temperatures – the trade is set to soar as the Emirate prepares to host the 2022 football World Cup. Given mounting fears that not even the Qatari national team (if such a thing exists) will be able to cope with the fierce heat, entire air-conditioned stadia are being planned. With this in mind, he said, the choice to host the 2012 conference was perfectly logical. On the other hand, the minister explained that they are not really too interested in climate change: heat, used to that; desertification, been there done that some time ago; water supply, gas-fired desalination galore; sea level rise, only 120,000 citizens and plenty of land and so on ad nauseum.
Rumours that the Qataris mistook the competition to host the 2022 football World Cup for that of the annual desert camel-racing championship are
unfounded. Nevertheless notorious climate sceptic “Lord” Monckton appears to be already in training for that event, where he will be representing Myanmar.