A Gulf war there may be, but not all is bad on the Middle Eastern front. As the combined might of the British, Americans and Saudis enter combat, a more peaceful joint venture is quietly being cemented elsewhere.
Datchet-based Industrial Design Consultancy has joined forces with ALESSA Industries of Saudi Arabia and Albers Technological Corporation, a spin-off research company from Arizona State University, to design and develop a new air conditioning system that is CFC free and saves on energy.
The technology relies on a salt water solution, acting as a liquid desiccant, which purifies and cools the air. Because the air is actually sterilised in the process, the system is ideal for hospitals - of which there are now likely to be rather more. The new air conditioning units are also gas powered, though needless to say it is not the sort of gas to which Saddam Hussein might resort.
While the rest of the world waits on red alert, IDC and its partners are happily going green. No doubt when the dust settles in the Gulf there will be dozens of western companies looking for similar ventures to rebuild the Kuwaiti infrastructure. But whether the combatants win the spoils of war is another matter.