Doha is Trending on Twitter But You Probably Still Won't Know Where It Is

English: United Nations Framework Convention o...
English: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change nations: Green: UNFCCC Member Peach: UNFCCC Observer Gray: Not party to UNFCCC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was hard at work getting in my NaNoWriMo word count. An early morning nursery run and forced seclusion to makeup for the other three weeks in November when I produced my first short film and hosted a delightful Thanksgiving.

I hit my goal of 4,000 words this morning and did what any respectable writer does, hopped over to Twitter for a mental break. Imagine my surprise when I saw my city of residence, Doha, the capital of the city state of Qatar, trending worldwide. For you non-tweeps, that means so many people in the world are using that hashtag that it’s now like a thing. Why are so many people tweeting about the city whose previous distinction was that it was most likely to be mixed up with Dubai? Doha is trending due to the influx of people expected for the COP 18 conference

You’re probably thinking I like showing off acronyms, but I didn’t make up the short code for National Novel Writing Month, nor can I take credit for the UN Climate Change Conference.

Don’t worry, I’m not being elitist. In fact, I’m proud to host fellow blogger and science writer Emily Alp because she is going to give you a run down of all the acroynms related to the world’s largest conference on the issue that more and more people are find impinging on their everyday lives: climate change.

Emily explains the hows and whys of this annual gathering: “Convention of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings have been happening in cities around the world for the past 17 years. The meetings involve active participation by representatives from virtually every country (a.k.a. party) in the world in talks about climate change. The first such meeting, COP1, was held in Berlin in 1995. Shortly thereafter, in 1997, at COP3 in Kyoto, Japan, the parties put forth the Kyoto Protocol, which laid out a strategy to legally bind specific countries to reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets.”

Read the full piece and stay tuned to Emily’s blog as she’ll be posting daily throughout the conference.

For those of us who live in Qatar, this is both an interesting and concerning event. The emails about the expected 20,000 delegates (no that’s not a typo) have put residents into a quandary about how much worse the traffic (already bursting at the seams). The ironies of our SUV loving, gas guzzling home hosting the world in a discussion about emissions and all things environment are many.

Stay tuned for updates as we brace for the next two weeks. I’m interested to see how long Doha remains a trending topic on Twitter.


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