Prices of oil because of Middle East unrest, nuclear meltdown scares post earthquake Japan, mining disasters all point to a need to find solutions.
Seems the only real solution is minimalism. Downsizing living space with all the corresponding consumer clutter would go a long ways to diminishing energy needs.
This link gave me the average square footage of living space around the world.
U.s. Poor= 438
U.S. Poor, apartment =320
UK-France, Germany, Japan = 376
Hungary, Greece, Korea, Spain= 236
Turkey, Chili, Poland, Mexico = 162
Egypt, Philippines, Morocco, Colombia= 94.7
India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan= 65.5
Obviously, there is a point below which society breaks down. People need space for learning, sleeping, and privacy.
On a long distance back packing trip, our tents may only be 30 square feet. The outdoors provides space for enjoyment, but its not something we must contain, heat, cool, or maintain.
Evolution of the housing industry in America is swinging back to a more efficient design I believe. We will need to become more efficient in our choice of goods as well, space being a premium.