Throughout the 1970's, gas shocks continued, and it is one reason why the economy was "in the tank" by the time I was ready to graduate and go out into the world.
Have we left the world in a better condition than we found it? In some senses, yes. Pollution is far less that it was in the 1960's, even if CO emissions continue to climb. Smoking is almost unheard-of these days, and life expectancy is longer as a result. The Cold War has ended and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation is largely gone. We have cars today that are safer, faster, more comfortable, pollute less and are less costly to operate, than in the past. And while a lot of very dirty and messy jobs have disappeared from the workplace, a lot of new avenues of employment have been created, that involve levels of creativity unheard of in the past. There is a lot that has improved in our world over the last few decades.