We revisit, with new research, the astonishing energy appetite of artificial intelligence (A.I.), a reality completely absent from the just-released 18,000 word Executive Order on A.I. Yet the Administration’s “whole-of-government” pursuit of climate policies is seen everywhere else. Meanwhile, fueling A.I. will propel the world beyond today’s zettabyte of digital traffic into the yottabyte era.


If one feels compelled, and by that, I mean if Congress and state policymakers feel compelled to subsidize ways to reduce the amount of oil used by vehicles on the roads, the facts point to hybrids making far more sense. Sales figures in recent months suggest that consumers think so too.

  • Related to this episode’s topic, to watch or listen to the October 2023 “great debate” over EVs between Mark Mills and Rosario Fortugno, click here for that SOHO Forum Debate recording.

The invention of useful artificial intelligence (AI), epitomized by the hype over ChatGPT, is the latest example of a basic truth about technology: There have always been many more inventions that use energy than those that can produce it. Only a few inventions over history are as energy-hungry as AI; it ranks up there with the invention of the automobile and aircraft.

At the core of the belief that EVs inevitably displace conventional cars is the claim that EVs are, inherently, just simpler machines. That means, we’re told, fewer jobs—hence the ostensible reason for the UAW’s anxiety. But the simplicity claim is a canard. EVs entail a complexity swap, not a simplification.

We talk with Harold Hamm, founder and former CEO, now Exec Chairman of Continental Resources.

Hamm, one of the key pioneers of the American shale revolution, has written a book about his life’s journey and the critical role of the U.S. oil and gas industry.

The refrain, the claim, from EV and green-tech advocates is that EVs and the massive alternative energy subsidies will free us from “our geopolitical adversaries” and the “manipulation of the price of oil.” Instead, supply chain realities show just how profoundly misguided those claims are.

The ubiquitous clickbait headline about some new battery innovation that “changes everything” is just that; clickbait. The underlying realities of energy physics and electrical engineering determine the usefully foreseeable future and it’s not one with EVs cheaper, better and universal.

The entire motivation for government subsidies and mandates to pursue an all-EV future is the claim that it will result in radical reductions in CO2 emissions. But known unknowns in EV supply chains show that all EV emission claims are ‘guesstimates’ based on averages, approximations, or aspirations. Pushing an all-EV world is likely to increase CO2 emissions.

With a dozen states planning to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines and massive subsidies for electric vehicles (EV) from production to infrastructures, it’s time to dig deep into whether the facts support claims about EV emissions reductions and operational superiority. We start with a review of the state of play.

Electric Vehicles for Everyone? The Impossible Dream, Manhattan Institute Policy Paper, July 2023.

We continue our conversation with philosopher Don Howard who has very practical ideas about, and projects engaged in advancing the principles of ethics in robotics and artificial intelligence. For dystopians, prof Howard provides hope that Silicon Valley’s rising innovators are embracing ethics.

One of Hollywood’s favorite SciFi themes, robo-wars, is in the real-world a serious topic with features and implications different from fevered movie scripts and clickbait. In this first of a two-part episode, we are joined by Don Howard, the brilliant Notre Dame professor of philosophy and ethics of technologies.


In part 2, we pick up the conversation with legendary tech analyst Mark Mahaney. “Institutional Investor magazine has ranked him as a top Internet analyst every year for the past 15 years, including five years as number one.” Mahaney and Mills dig deeper into the implications of AI and ChatGPT, and more.

Photo courtesy of Mark Mahoney

It’s one thing to forecast the big picture for a technology future, the “macro,” and quite another to be a successful stock picker. In this first of a two-part episode, we’re joined by Evercore ISI’s legendary stock analyst, Mark Mahaney, to talk technology, ChatGPT, and AI and the implications for tech investing.

The idea that EVs are not only inevitable but have “zero emissions,” or at least radically reduce carbon dioxide emissions, is the central claim justifying governments banning — directly, or indirectly as EPA’s proposed rules would do — the sale of cars with internal combustion engines. But the data show that whatever emissions reductions might happen, they’ll be modest at best and at worst non-existent.

In the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, and the role played by the Fed hiking interest rates to cool the economy, we explore the nature of — in words used by Senator Elizabeth Warren in sparring with Federal Reserve Chairman Powell — the “other things” keeping inflation at a multi-decade high.

In this episode we’re responding to a curated collection of questions and objections we’ve received about ideas, facts and claims made in earlier podcasts, speeches, and articles about the challenges—the realities—of the “energy transition.”

The observation that the world is not mining (nor planning to mine) enough minerals to build the scale of solar/wind/battery hardware needed for the goals of Energy Transitionists has inspired the response that such limits are only espoused by modern Malthusians. The claim is that the world has plenty of minerals and that innovation will solve the problem. This is both true and irrelevant.

Every month, Gallup asks an open-ended question—“what’s the most important problem?”– in a tracking poll to gauge Americans’ unprompted top-of-mind concerns. Economic issues top the list. So, despite the many challenges (and obvious horrors) in the world, in this episode we revisit what today’s technology trends tell us about tomorrow’s economy.

Hundreds of billions of American dollars are about to gush forth from Washington in service of accelerating the vaunted energy transition. But there’s a problem, one anchored in what can only be called the physics of money. Economists and policymakers like to talk about “market failures” in achieving energy goals. But even gushers of money can’t change what nature permits.

The release of ChatGPT, a powerful on-line AI tool, has excited anxieties in the chattering class that automation has finally arrived for “knowledge work,” much as it did for manual labor in the last century. It has, and that’s a good thing for everyone.

We even asked ChatGPT to re-write the above paragraph in the style of Shakespeare