Monday, February 14, 2011

Colebrook High School Students Study Northern Pass

With apologies and compliments to The Onion

COLEBROOK, NH, Feb. 14, 2111--According to students in Ms. Long’s  3rd period  U.S. history
class, it's "really pathetic" how long it took for people in New Hampshire to realize what a bad idea Northern Pass was. The class said it was "laughable" that anyone would even have considered putting up 135' towers. "Whoa! That's almost as high as the state capitol dome," exclaimed Garry Johnson, just back from a class trip to Concord.

The classroom of 15-year-olds at Colebrook High School—all of whom were born in the late 2090s and grew up never having seen an overhead transmission line—was reportedly "amazed" to learn that electricity used to be shipped that way for hundreds and hundreds of miles and across international borders.

"Wow, that is nuts," said student Joan Guyot. “Like, didn’t they know how dangerous those lines were?” she asked. "I mean, was everybody just so ignorant back then or what?" Guyot added. "They used to put them right next to schools, too. But everybody smoked then too, so they were going to get cancer one way or the other."

The early-22nd-century high schoolers told reporters that while a few of them had seen depictions of these overhead lines in "old movies" such as Gone with the Wind, it was "really bizarre" to learn that anybody still thought of putting them up in NH  a hundred years ago.

"There were apparently these really important electric companies who said that it was too expensive to bury the lines," said  Keith Addison, adding that he couldn't imagine companies like that actually staying in business for very long if it were. "I guess in the end I feel really bad for people in New Hampshire back then. What a sucky time to live."

John Dumas said that "they had this sucky thing called eminent domain back then too. It meant that electric companies could take your land even if you didn't want to give it to them." "It wasn't too long after the end of slavery in this country," John explained.

After breaking into study groups to examine old newspaper articles in the Colebrook Chronicle from 2011 to 2014,  Ms. Long’s students spent much of the class period discussing, in disbelief, how even some supposedly smart politicians didn’t understand that they should demand that the lines be buried. "I get that they wanted to be reelected or whatever, but come on, “ said Jeremy Desmers. “That is so stupid."

Ms. Long’s class also discussed the opposition groups that sprang up 100 year ago in New Hampshire. Betsy Hardy commented that “those activists were, like, so old. They all had gray hair. Nobody under 35 did it.” John Connors concluded that must have been one of the reasons it took so long to defeat Northern Pass. “Old people do things very slowly,” he explained, “I mean, my grandmother moves like mud." “But she gets there eventually,” he added.

Ms. Long, 42, nodded and smiled.

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