Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (sub.req.) points out that serious energy conservation does not equal economic disaster:
[T]he assumption, explicit or implicit, that any substantial cut in energy use would require a drastic change in the way we live...is false. Let me tell you about a real-world counterexample: an advanced economy that has managed to combine rising living standards with a substantial decline in per capita energy consumption, and managed to keep total carbon dioxide emissions more or less flat for two decades, even as both its economy and its population grew rapidly. And it achieved all this without fundamentally changing a lifestyle centered on automobiles and single-family houses.
The name of the economy? California.