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Old 10-02-2022, 08:39 AM   #1
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Default Closed "Substantially" Thread

I was surprised to open up the last posts on that thread and find it closed. I realize the rule of not getting too political, but seems like a quick post warning "let's keep it about energy, not about politics" might have been all that was needed. I was enjoying the discussion, and thought it was polite and a lot of good information being shared.

BTW John, your last post #153 in the thread was excellent. While we disagree on several aspects of the subject, you have a really good understanding of the energy "big picture".

Sailin, thanks for starting the thread and asking the original question, hope you got some answers.
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:28 AM   #2
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Agreed, and I thought the discussion all related because it got me thinking about the line between conserving and finding a different energy source long-term.

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Old 10-02-2022, 10:03 AM   #3
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Unfortunately it is impossible to seriously discuss reducing electricity costs without looking at why they are increasing in the first place. That discussion is absolutely a political discussion and not proper for this site.


The just closed thread started out with in home methods to reduce costs, then naturally started to pick at what the actual causes of the unprecedented increase in costs, which is political. This is not a slam on Don, but these discussions tend to go on one sided for while, when a differing opinion gets introduced the lock comes. It would be nice if the lock came earlier in the cycle, but moderating these forums is not an easy task, I understand this. Those who drift these threads know exactly what they are doing. I bite my tongue here most of the time when these discussions come up, it would be nice if others did too.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:20 AM   #4
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Unfortunately it is impossible to seriously discuss reducing electricity costs without looking at why they are increasing in the first place. That discussion is absolutely a political discussion and not proper for this site.


The just closed thread started out with in home methods to reduce costs, then naturally started to pick at what the actual causes of the unprecedented increase in costs, which is political. This is not a slam on Don, but these discussions tend to go on one sided for while, when a differing opinion gets introduced the lock comes. It would be nice if the lock came earlier in the cycle, but moderating these forums is not an easy task, I understand this. Those who drift these threads know exactly what they are doing. I bite my tongue here most of the time when these discussions come up, it would be nice if others did too.
Well maybe it's impossible but I decided to try anyway. I just started a new thread about energy, we'll see how it goes.

I don't agree it HAS to be political. I can discuss energy sources, types, conservation, etc. without mentioning anything political. If people choose to go there so be it, I'm not going to whine and complain if the new thread doesn't work out. Just thought I'd give it a try. And to the moderators, no problem at all with what you do, appreciate that it's not an easy role to play.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:49 AM   #5
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Default What's On Your Mind?

A problem when a thread goes off course is that the original poster may not get a full answer to a question. My question indeed was practical, not political. I did get some good answers, but then the topic was lost in the political discussion. When that happens, a topic that started out politically neutral and cooperative can become hostile. Then the original cooperative tone of sharing information and suggestions is lost.

It is clear (to me) that many people in this forum would like to have a venue where local people can discuss a variety of issues. It is often said here that "there are other places where you can go to discuss that," but I haven't found that to be true and people haven't specified these other places.

Any forum by definition is a place where people gather. What's different in an online forum (as compared to, say, a bar) is that the site owner gets to decide what can be discussed and in what tone. That's fine; moderation is needed in online forums to maintain civility. If a bunch of people gather in your living room you want to have a say in what goes on there. On the other hand, it's helpful when a forum can respond to the needs expressed by members, if those seem reasonable, implying that a forum might change over time.

There are some very knowledgeable people at this website. I learn a lot from their answers to my questions, but also by following their debates. I found the discussion of Northern Pass and the cost of energy here interesting. That's an issue that directly impacted the Lakes Region---the last proposed Northern Pass line would have been visible from my property and probably would have affected my property value. But that discussion didn't belong in a thread about "How can I save electricity at home?" So where does it belong? Either (a) in a subforum that isn't currently offered at this site or (b) it doesn't belong on this site at all.

I'm in favor of (a), a new subforum, because the Winnipesaukee Forum is an important gathering place for local people. It could be called something like What's On Your Mind? It would need to be moderated to avoid excessive hostility and false information, both of which are harmful to a civil democratic society.

I have asked twice for a new subforum where people could request and offer assistance with whatever they need. A What's On Your Mind subforum could encompass that need. A disabled member recently posted about the difficulty of finding help with home maintenance. Perhaps there are people here, including myself, who would be glad to help this member and others. We often lament the lack of civility here. One of the best ways to encourage civility is to get people together to help one another.

I suggest that someone post a poll in a new thread asking, "Are you in favor of a subforum called What's On Your Mind" to discuss various issues?" It's a simple yes/no question.

If moderation of such a forum is too onerous for the site owner, another moderator could be found. Moderators could be rotated, as happens in other forums.

We can each avoid interrupting a thread with an off-topic discussion. Open another thread for your new topic. What is happening now is that people are slipping topics that aren't allowed at the forum into threads that are allowed, just waiting for the site owner to detect the off-topic posts and close the thread. Often people object to these closings. The solution is to not let discussions veer off course.

However, many forums delete off-topic and offensive posts instead of closing the entire thread. That would be a simple solution too. My thread was good and is very valid right now. Unitil just announced a large rate increase, meaning that thousands more people need to know how to lower their electric bill by using less electricity. Surely the site owner has the ability to delete the offending posts without shutting off the discussion about this important topic? And as someone else said, a warning to the offenders would help keep people on track.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:51 AM   #6
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Unfortunately it is impossible to seriously discuss reducing electricity costs without looking at why they are increasing in the first place.
I don't think this is true. I reduced my electricity use by 67% without considering why my bill was increasing.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:56 AM   #7
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Sailin, my apologies if my Eversource comments steered things off topic. I like discussing with John and to me it was on topic, meaning understanding where increased rates were coming from amid your efforts to conserve, and I don't believe John or I ever mentioned anything political. But maybe I should have just kept quiet in that thread, again sorry about that.
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Old 10-02-2022, 12:37 PM   #8
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Sailin, my apologies if my Eversource comments steered things off topic. I like discussing with John and to me it was on topic, meaning understanding where increased rates were coming from amid your efforts to conserve, and I don't believe John or I ever mentioned anything political. But maybe I should have just kept quiet in that thread, again sorry about that.
Don't worry, my question was amply answered.
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Old 10-02-2022, 12:49 PM   #9
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I don't think this is true. I reduced my electricity use by 67% without considering why my bill was increasing.
You are correct, and for your purposes I think you got what you need. Unfortunately the thread morphed way beyond what you needed for original post, but that's what happens on the internet and it's not necessarily bad.
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Old 10-02-2022, 12:55 PM   #10
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Unfortunately the thread morphed way beyond what you needed for original post, but that's what happens on the internet and it's not necessarily bad.
It's bad if people are engaging in what they feel is a useful conversation and it gets shut down.
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Old 10-02-2022, 01:49 PM   #11
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Unfortunately it is impossible to seriously discuss reducing electricity costs without looking at why they are increasing in the first place. That discussion is absolutely a political discussion and not proper for this site.


The just closed thread started out with in home methods to reduce costs, then naturally started to pick at what the actual causes of the unprecedented increase in costs, which is political. This is not a slam on Don, but these discussions tend to go on one sided for while, when a differing opinion gets introduced the lock comes. It would be nice if the lock came earlier in the cycle, but moderating these forums is not an easy task, I understand this. Those who drift these threads know exactly what they are doing. I bite my tongue here most of the time when these discussions come up, it would be nice if others did too.
It isn't a political discussion. Natural Gas, which is the primary source of electricity for the New England grid is being shipped to Europe because they are paying multiples of what we are willing to pay for it.

The second base load fuel is nuclear... we have a nuclear generator... it is not owned by Eversource... and would require a dramatic upgrade of the transmission lines to bring Unit 2 on-line. That cost is substantial.

We have a coal-fired plant ready to go... it meets all State codes, and was renovated to be beyond any existing or proposed federal codes. But coal is still more expensive than natural gas, so it is not considered an option at this time.

Our hydro is maxed. We use the dams to maintain the lakes at navigational levels for recreation and shore line owners.

Our biomass has grid limits. Upgrading the Coos Loop is rather expensive back when it was discussed years ago... but is now more expensive due to lack of labor and materials.

Our other renewable sources across the New England grid are only supplying 10% of demand... wind at 3.5% and solar at 2.9% as I post. The other renewable sources such as burning garbage or landfill gas make up the rest.

But the grid that moves it from where it is produced to your home... it is in serious structural deficit due to so much building in remote areas.

We all have the option of going off-grid... but none of use really want independence if it cost more.

We all have to live with the facts... even when the facts don't please us.
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Old 10-02-2022, 02:01 PM   #12
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Unfortunately it is impossible to seriously discuss reducing electricity costs without looking at why they are increasing in the first place. That discussion is absolutely a political discussion and not proper for this site.


The just closed thread started out with in home methods to reduce costs, then naturally started to pick at what the actual causes of the unprecedented increase in costs, which is political. This is not a slam on Don, but these discussions tend to go on one sided for while, when a differing opinion gets introduced the lock comes. It would be nice if the lock came earlier in the cycle, but moderating these forums is not an easy task, I understand this. Those who drift these threads know exactly what they are doing. I bite my tongue here most of the time when these discussions come up, it would be nice if others did too.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure your post 145 in that thread was the first political one, suggesting the "administration" and "green" causes were to blame. Are you saying he should have locked down right at 145? If not, when?
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Old 10-02-2022, 02:17 PM   #13
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure your post 145 in that thread was the first political one, suggesting the "administration" and "green" causes were to blame. Are you saying he should have locked down right at 145? If not, when?

You're wrong, the thread was headed off the rails before I posted. Not the thread to continue the discussion, unless you are trying to shut this one down too. Ditto for John.
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Old 10-02-2022, 03:31 PM   #14
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Ditto?
What is wrong with the facts that I produced?

Is the New England grid not mostly natural gas generation with nuclear being the number two?
Are we not shipping more natural gas to Europe than we have ever before?
Are they not paying multiples for that natural gas as comparison to us?
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Old 10-02-2022, 04:23 PM   #15
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Ditto?
What is wrong with the facts that I produced?

Is the New England grid not mostly natural gas generation with nuclear being the number two?
Are we not shipping more natural gas to Europe than we have ever before?
Are they not paying multiples for that natural gas as comparison to us?

John, I'm not really interested in drilling down on your post, I just skimmed your post, but we can't have a meaningful discussion here, nor should we. I just read it again, and I agree with all of your facts. But to get into the biggest drag on energy, we need to look at political actions that have been going on for at least a decade now. I guaranty that will blow up, also it is not about the lake. My point is this a thread about threads getting shut down, not a continuation of the thread that was shut down. Bringing that discussion to here where energy is not the subject is the problem.

To Sailing away, the problem with having a political section on a website is that people get "overly passionate" and drag beefs or disagreements into the regular part of the forum. I guess it's human nature, or the need to be right. I've seen it in several other forums I frequent, memberships votes for a "hot section" in which loaded political subjects are discussed and it spirals out of control. Management is barraged with complaints, mostly about other members, it becomes overwhelming to the admin and toxic to the forum so it gets shut down. It takes at least a year for the butthurt to simmer down.

I remember a vote taken here already to allow these types of discussions and it was voted down. I think it was good decision. I hope that stays in place, there are tons of other places to discuss politics, let's keep it to the lake here, with maybe some local, non national politics mixed in.
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Old 10-02-2022, 05:03 PM   #16
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OP... First Post in the Thread... ''Let's keep it about energy''

Your last post... ''Bringing that discussion here where energy is not the subject is the problem''

Not sure how those two things mesh.
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Old 10-02-2022, 05:26 PM   #17
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OP... First Post in the Thread... ''Let's keep it about energy''

Your last post... ''Bringing that discussion here where energy is not the subject is the problem''

Not sure how those two things mesh.
Is that really what you got out of the original post? That this thread is about energy? That's interesting.
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Old 10-02-2022, 05:40 PM   #18
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Yes. ''Let's keep it about energy'' to me means ''Let's keep it about energy''.

Is it some secret code words for not being about energy?
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:07 PM   #19
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To Sailing away, the problem with having a political section on a website is that people get "overly passionate" and drag beefs or disagreements into the regular part of the forum.
That's not at all what I was suggesting. However, here's another suggestion: Two new subforums. One called "Debates" and one called "Exchange." Calling a forum "Debates" would allow people who don't like hostile debates to avoid it entirely. It would isolate political discussions to one corner. By "Exchange" I mean exchanges of goods and services not involving money. There are subforums here that do involve exchanges of money, so how about one that does not involve money? There are some unused subforums that could be eliminated to make way for these new ones.
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:38 PM   #20
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Yes. ''Let's keep it about energy'' to me means ''Let's keep it about energy''.

Is it some secret code words for not being about energy?
Hey, great talk.
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:57 PM   #21
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That's not at all what I was suggesting. However, here's another suggestion: Two new subforums. One called "Debates" and one called "Exchange." Calling a forum "Debates" would allow people who don't like hostile debates to avoid it entirely. It would isolate political discussions to one corner. By "Exchange" I mean exchanges of goods and services not involving money. There are subforums here that do involve exchanges of money, so how about one that does not involve money? There are some unused subforums that could be eliminated to make way for these new ones.
It won't work SailinAway, the debate part allowing political stuff, you can't keep the political part isolated to one corner. I've seen it done many times, too many people can't isolate that stuff, it always spills over and someone is always upset.

At the end of the day, it's not up to me whether it gets tried or not. But I hope it doesn't get tried, because my prediction is it will be a disaster.
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Old 10-02-2022, 08:09 PM   #22
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That's not at all what I was suggesting. However, here's another suggestion: Two new subforums. One called "Debates" and one called "Exchange." Calling a forum "Debates" would allow people who don't like hostile debates to avoid it entirely. It would isolate political discussions to one corner. By "Exchange" I mean exchanges of goods and services not involving money. There are subforums here that do involve exchanges of money, so how about one that does not involve money? There are some unused subforums that could be eliminated to make way for these new ones.
You could put the ''exchange'' in the ''marketplace'' forum. Just list what you would be looking for in exchange for what you are offering.

But it really isn't a debate on energy.
The facts remain that to move electricity around, we need transmission.
To move more electricity, or to move it to a new location, requires more transmission.

The large increases are partially wage inflation... we don't have enough workers, never mind actual qualified electricians... and all the new transmission and upgrades that need to be done. If we were just replacing what existed several years ago... we may feel some of those supply line and wage issues... but it would be muted as compared to the addition of the new/upgrade being piled on.

The dramatic increase in natural gas... Europe really put itself in a bind... isn't something we are likely to see subside quickly. Though there are only so many ships outfitted to bring LNG across the Atlantic; so it should reach a steady state sometime in the next few years.

We have coal that we used last year during the cold snap... and my guess is we will again this year; that will offset some LNG. (Hopefully I am right on as natural gas is heavily used in the winter).

And while there is some low hanging fruit for electricity usage... that gets taken up pretty quickly; as you can see from the discussion on the water heater.

We could place water in contains in the refrigerator, as that tends to temper losses when the door is opened. Maybe be more aware of how many times we open that door. But that is only going to be small savings.

We can run the clothes dryer through a sock, and some apparatus that they sell, to catch the lint but let the heat enter the house. It won't use less electricity, but the electricity turned to heat can be captured to offset whatever is being used to heat the space.

Obviously LED light bulbs. Power strips that can be shut off... etc.

But every home or building is going to be different.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:01 AM   #23
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It won't work SailinAway, the debate part allowing political stuff, you can't keep the political part isolated to one corner.
Sure you can. That's what moderators are for. You delete political content that's posted in the wrong subforum and soon people get trained to post it in the right place. They figure out that "Home Maintenance" is for . . . home maintenance, not politics.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:23 AM   #24
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John Mercier, much as I always enjoy reading what you have to say, much of what you've posted in this thread is off topic. The original post was about why threads get closed down. It was not about energy. If we could exercise more self-discipline in keeping our posts on topic, fewer threads would get closed down.

However, since there are clearly quite a few people who want to make non-Winnipesaukee posts, the best solution is to give them a subforum for that. You and several others who like to talk about non-Winnipesaukee topics---politics, economics, energy, the pandemic, etc.---should support my proposed new subforums. Then you would would have license to discuss whatever you want, and we would have the pleasure of reading your thoughts without threads getting shut down. It's a win-win all around.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:34 AM   #25
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Sure you can. That's what moderators are for. You delete political content that's posted in the wrong subforum and soon people get trained to post it in the right place. They figure out that "Home Maintenance" is for . . . home maintenance, not politics.
Why would any sane moderator sign up for that? I'm telling you, I've seen it on 3 other forums, they all ended the same way, with the off topic sections being shut down, plus scores of posters booted because they couldn't control themselves. If it were put to a vote, I would vote no.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:57 AM   #26
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I think maybe John meant to post the energy comments in the new thread I started, not sure.

https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...188#post377188

As for threads about politics, no idea if a separate section would work or not. I really enjoy talking politics in person but not online, too hard to have a conversation that stays civil.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:51 AM   #27
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My head is spinning...
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Old 10-03-2022, 10:57 AM   #28
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Why would any sane moderator sign up for that? I'm telling you, I've seen it on 3 other forums, they all ended the same way, with the off topic sections being shut down, plus scores of posters booted because they couldn't control themselves. If it were put to a vote, I would vote no.
What's wrong with booting scores of posters who can't control themselves? What I'm suggesting is very common in forums---many have an "Off Topic" subforum. Here at the Winnipesaukee forum what we have is a tendency to post off-topic comments just about anywhere, and then dissatisfaction when threads are closed, which invites ideas for improvement. Hence my suggestion. This could be done a trial basis and shut down if people behave too outrageously. Then they would be instructed once again to not make non-Winnipesaukee posts. The contradiction is that people are showing a desire to make and read non-Winnipesaukee posts (e.g., international energy trends) and congratulating certain well-informed posters for their well-written but off-topic posts---and then being upset when those threads are closed down. Then the forum owner's choice is to let things run rampant, close down threads and remind people to post only Winnipesaukee topics, or accommodate those who want to have non-Winnipesaukee discussions. In the past the forum owner has occasionally stepped in and stated that this remains a Winnipesaukee forum, as conceived in the beginning.

Based on the experience in the Covid thread, there's a good possibility that an Off Topic subforum would decline into hostility and fake news. So the onus is on forum members to not do that.
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Old 10-03-2022, 12:41 PM   #29
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What's wrong with booting scores of posters who can't control themselves? What I'm suggesting is very common in forums---many have an "Off Topic" subforum. Here at the Winnipesaukee forum what we have is a tendency to post off-topic comments just about anywhere, and then dissatisfaction when threads are closed, which invites ideas for improvement. Hence my suggestion. This could be done a trial basis and shut down if people behave too outrageously. Then they would be instructed once again to not make non-Winnipesaukee posts. The contradiction is that people are showing a desire to make and read non-Winnipesaukee posts (e.g., international energy trends) and congratulating certain well-informed posters for their well-written but off-topic posts---and then being upset when those threads are closed down. Then the forum owner's choice is to let things run rampant, close down threads and remind people to post only Winnipesaukee topics, or accommodate those who want to have non-Winnipesaukee discussions. In the past the forum owner has occasionally stepped in and stated that this remains a Winnipesaukee forum, as conceived in the beginning.

Based on the experience in the Covid thread, there's a good possibility that an Off Topic subforum would decline into hostility and fake news. So the onus is on forum members to not do that.
I love your faith in the members here Sailin'
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Old 10-03-2022, 03:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by LikeLakes View Post
Well maybe it's impossible but I decided to try anyway. I just started a new thread about energy, we'll see how it goes.

I don't agree it HAS to be political. I can discuss energy sources, types, conservation, etc. without mentioning anything political. If people choose to go there so be it, I'm not going to whine and complain if the new thread doesn't work out. Just thought I'd give it a try. And to the moderators, no problem at all with what you do, appreciate that it's not an easy role to play.
It can be done without politics...
The politics never work in the favor of those that want to include politics; and that is what doesn't work out.

The electric markets are largely capitalistic in nature with some oversight due to transmission monopolies. There is some politics there... but generally both sides of the equation tend to have a mixture from both parties.

The Co-op is given a bit more room due to the nature of not being a publicly traded entity with shareholders that differ from customers... but tends to move closely in line with the others. Costs being somewhat universal in nature.
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