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5 Things to Know Today: February 2, 2017

5 Things to Know Today: February 2, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo via Gene J Puskar/AP

Photo via Gene J Puskar/AP

In case you missed it, it’s groundhog’s day and Punxsutawney Phil says it’s going to be a long winter, cutting greenhouse gasses is saving businesses money, and virtual reality may be replacing sedatives in the future. 

1. Washington Post: It’s going to be a long winter, says the groundhog who knows this stuff.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, and then went right back to sleep. In seeing his shadow, the famous groundhog predicted we’d see another six weeks of winter. But, sun lovers take heart, it appears he may be wrong, as scientists have predicted an early spring based on actual metrics—like grass growing in the Southeast. 

2. Forbes: Suppliers are being asked to cut emissions, and find they’re actually saving money. 
And not just a few dollars— suppliers are saving billions as a result of reducing greenhouse emissions according to a new report. At the request of the world’s largest purchasing organizations—Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, and Walmart—suppliers are voluntarily disclosing their efforts at cutting emissions. Nearly half of the top 100 projects related to energy efficiency.

3. US News: If you’re a couple planning for retirement, keep in mind the age gap. 
As couples approach retirement, the age gap is crucial to factor in to when to retire, how much you need to save, how much to invest, and when to take social security. Most couples want to retire together, but if there’s a significant difference in age that usually means your money needs to last longer, especially if the younger partner is a woman since they have a longer life expectancy.  

4. Triple Pundit: Renewables dominate U.S. power, and that’s not changing anytime soon. 
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an update saying that of the 26 gigawatts of new energy capacity added throughout the U.S. in 2016, the majority of it came from renewable sources. The total amount of hydropower, biomass, waste heat, and solar and wind power equated to over 60 percent of new power generation. This growth isn’t just good for the environment; it’s also added jobs to the U.S. economy. Nearly 1 million Americans now work in the clean-energy sector. 

5. BBC: In Mexico, a surgeon is using virtual reality to relieve pain during operations when sedatives aren’t possible. 
Using virtual reality to reduce distress during medical procedures began at the University of Seattle, Washington under cognitive psychologist Hunter Hoffman. Their VR game SnowWorld, helped patients deal with burns by reducing pain-related brain activity. In Mexico, doctors are exploring this option as a way to reduce the use of costly and complicated sedatives during surgeries that can be done with local anesthetics. 

Friday Good News Roundup: February 3, 2017

Friday Good News Roundup: February 3, 2017

Meet California’s Most Underappreciated Eco-Warriors: Can Collectors

Meet California’s Most Underappreciated Eco-Warriors: Can Collectors