5 Things to Know Today: December 7, 2016

5 Things to Know Today: December 7, 2016

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo by  Aarhus Water

Photo by Aarhus Water

In case you missed it, judging other people’s financial situations can negatively affect your own, there’s a city in Denmark that’s using sewage to generate energy for their water treatment plant, and there’s a terrifying Syfy series about the fall of America as the result of climate change.

1. Mic: 7 things you should do right now to get ahead of tax season 2017.

How stoked you are on your tax return in April may depend on the choices you make right now. Factors like donating to a charity, getting married, or using a flexible spending account can affect your tax situation in April, so prepare now so you can stress less later.

2. Curbed: Aarhus, Denmark is using wastewater to generate energy for its water treatment plant.

Using sewage to make clean water sounds pretty gross, but Aarhus’s innovative Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant was just upgraded so that wastewater will generate nearly double the amount of energy the plant needs to operate. This is huge news, especially considering around 8 percent of the world’s electricity is consumed by wastewater processing facilities.

3. Two Cents: If you judge other people’s money habits, you might negatively affect your own.

We tend use other people’s financial situations as a frame of reference for our own decisions about spending and saving money. But unless we're doing those people's tax returns, we don't really know important data like income or retirement savings. Instead, we make assumptions that can lead us to spend more and save less.

4. Popular Mechanics: Hydrogen may offer a promising solution for renewable energy's biggest problem.

One of the biggest issues with sustainable energy is relying on the elements—without wind or the sun, generation will halt and people will still need electricity. Hydrogen storage may offer a promising solution by providing a way to store the excess electricity from these sustainable resources to use when production is low.

5. Grist: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck produced a Syfy series  that sums up our worst nightmares about climate change.

Set in 2074, Incorporated is a dystopian series that shows the United States run by Spiga Biotech, a fictional corporation that controls the world’s resources, after climate change led to the fall of the government. As Americans flee to Canada, the Canadian government works to build a wall to keep them out.

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