Ugo Bardi has a lovely article about both peak oil and intergenerationalism:
I sort out again my old watch, “You see, this old watch is still working, more than 70 years after it was made. Whenever I look at it, I feel a kind of kinship to the man who had left it to me. I am grateful to him because he left me something that still works, that I can use and that I like. And I think he may be happy, too, if he looks at us from above, that his old watch is still appreciated by someone in this world”. I pause for a moment to look upwards, as if I were seeing the ghost of the old Swiss man. The people in the audience do the same. There is only the roof of the church, up there, but – who knows? – maybe the owner of the watch is really watching us from above.
I continue. “Now, for myself I think I would like to do something similar – to leave to those who will come after me something that they may use, that will be useful to them. I would like to leave something that lasts a long time and that doesn’t need precious resources that can’t be replaced. Something ‘sustainable’ as people say. Of course, I am not saying that we should go back to this old way of making watches – although, who knows? – But, surely, there are things that we can make which are sustainable and that will last a long time. Think of a wind turbine; you have surely seen them. They are big mechanical things, mostly made out of steel; like this watch. If they are well kept and maintained, turbines they can last many decades, like this watch, and why not a century or more? And they can produce good energy for all that time. That is true not just for wind turbine. Solar plants can last a long time and you can insulate your home in such a way that it doesn’t need much energy to heat or cool. If you do that, I am sure that the people who’ll live in it after you will be happy about what you did. There are many big things that you can do if you are rich and many small things that you can do even if you are not rich.
It is a lovely piece and well worth reading the whole thing.