Energy consumption correlates almost perfectly with the growth of the economy, increases in life expectancy and the standard of living. There is a very short sighted movement afoot to discourage our use of energy. There is a revolution going on in Energy in the US which if allowed to flourish will usher in a new era of job opportunity and economic growth. It is so serious that German Industry is deeply concerned about falling behind the US. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/08/energy-industrials-competition-idUSL5E8M8DVE20121108
We have to be smart and use our resources to build and advanced energy economy that can run 24/7/365 for larger populations with sustained abundance.