On Monday, the nation's capital was still digging out from the weekend's record snowfall that would effectively shut down the federal government for days. Making matters worse was the awareness among DC residents that their shoveling would require a repeat performance quite soon, as another major winter storm was due to hit early Wednesday. What a perfect day to announce the formation of a new federal agency to study and report on global warming.
Of course, with the city all but crippled by the snow, plans to make the announcement before the National Press Club were quickly scrapped. So those hearing official launch speeches Monday were forced to do so via conference call. And adding another dash of the bizarre, what they heard was U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announce "the intent to create a NOAA Climate Service line office dedicated to bringing together the agency's strong climate science and service delivery capabilities."