Could be that we have hugely different life experiences.
Here in WI, I see hybrid cars frequently. People are working like mad on corn, switchgrass and other alternative energy fuels. Others use their farm waste to fuel their farm, and even some cheese factories recycle their wastewater through greenhouses, bringing in further revenue. We have city rooftop gardens, urban farms completely closed-looped regarding energy and lots of other innovative things going on here regarding energy.
Around here, businesses get a competitive edge by "outgreening" the other guy.
As for you using as much of a natural resource as you want, I guess technically that's your right. Seeing as you are one person sharing a resource that belongs to the entire planet, I guess common sense and courtesy would dictate that you be respectful in your use of that resource. Plus, I have yet to meet someone who wouldn't benefit from a little more walking and biking.
As for Gore, I agree that he is a hypocrite. Doesn't mean that conserving is a bad idea. Makes sense to me that you don't blast your way through a finite resource and hope for the best, that someone will have come up with some affordable alternative by the time you have made your way through it.
I think this challenge will be met by innovative, super smart, creative people who can get past "the way we have always done it" and discover new, better ways to do it. Kinda like beekeeping, up against the challenge of mites, CCD and other issues.