When at least 80 tornadoes rampaged across the United States, from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico, last Friday, it was more than is typically observed during the entire month of March, tracking

It's almost a point of pride with climatologists. Whenever someplace is hit with a heat wave, drought, killer storm or other extreme weather, scientists trip over themselves to absolve global warming. No particular weather event, goes the mantra, can be blamed on something so general.

If anyone remakes "Erin Brockovich," this is a scene I want to see. A scientist launches a study to determine the toxicity of hexavalent chromium, the drinking-water contaminant at the center of the lawsuits Brockovich spearheaded. The study will be a meta-analysis, combining existing individual studies to, he says, produce more-authoritative conclusions.

You can stop berating yourself for buying that Spanish clementine or New Zealand lamb. Although lists of "what you can do to save the planet" include eating locally