BEIJING - A chronic shortage of natural gas is hurting China's plan to move away from burning coal to heat homes and offices, raising the prospect of more choking air pollution this winter and beyond. The problem is worst in northern China, where air pollution mainly caused by decades of reliance on coal has lowered life expectancy by an estimated 5.5 years compared to the south, Chinese and international researchers said in July. The frigid northeastern city of Harbin, home to 11 million people, virtually ground to a halt last week when airborne contaminants were around 50 times the level recommended by the World Health Organisation. Beijing had its own emergency in January when air pollution was 45 times the level. "I suspect we will have severe incidents of air pollution in Beijing again this winter," said Alvin Lin, China Climate and Energy Policy Director for the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council. China sees natural gas as the way to cleaner air. Authorities have … [Read more...] about China’s anti-pollution drive risks running out of gas
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Joy Covey, who helped take Amazon (AMZN).com Inc. public as the Internet retailer's chief financial officer, has died. She was 50. She died on Sept. 18 after colliding with a minivan while riding her bicycle downhill on Skyline Boulevard, near Portola Valley, California, according to Art Montiel, public information officer at the California Highway Patrol in Redwood City. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The San Mateo County Coroner's Office confirmed her identity. Covey, who lived in Woodside, California, was wearing a helmet, Montiel said. At Amazon, which she joined in December 1996, she served as CFO, then chief strategy officer, in the pioneering days of Internet retailing. Her tasks included persuading investors to be patient as Amazon endured money-losing years on its way to becoming the dominant online seller, according to a 1999 Wall Street Journal story. "Except on an occasional basis when it is critical for me to deal with Wall Street, she makes it possible for me … [Read more...] about Joy Covey, Amazon CFO During IPO, dies in bicycling crash at 50
Cleaning your plate may not help feed starving children today, but the time-worn advice of mothers everywhere may help reduce food waste from the farm to the fork, help the environment and make it easier to feed the world's growing population. Hard data is still being collected, but experts at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago this week said an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of the food produced in the world goes uneaten. The average American throws away 33 pounds of food each month -- about $40 worth -- according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, which plans to publish a report on food waste in April. In a year, that means each person throws away almost 400 pounds of food, the weight of an adult male gorilla. (Graphic, U.S. food waste in 2010: link.reuters.com/fad27s ) The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 23 percent of eggs and an even higher percentage of produce ends up in the trash. "We forget we have all these fresh fruits and … [Read more...] about Clean your plate, save the world?