The American era of rampant development and prosperity at any cost is over. Thank God. Our destruction of the environment and exploitation of its resources have always been core social issues, but now they've reached national awareness.
One silver lining to this recession, fueled in part by the pernicious oil war, is that we, the people, are forced to do what had not come from the goodness of our hearts: become frugal, conserve and recycle. Our automobiles can no longer afford to be vacuous status symbols with so many fuel-efficient alternatives available.
If you're still unwilling to change, then you may as well turn to your grandchildren and say, "My legacy to you is a polluted country. Good luck with your health and happiness. I was simply too selfish and apathetic to make a difference for you and for the common good." Your loved ones won't be consoled, but at least you will have been honest.
There's always an alternative. Make a commitment that conservation will be an integral part of everyday life. Less wasteful habits will save you money, but there's a nobler reason. Remember this antique phrase? Conserve because it's the right thing to do!