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Abstract: This essay summarises a widespread critique of “sustainable growth” from the perspective of peak everything. By doing so, this essay adds peak waste capacity to the discussion as another important limiting factor to human economic growth. Assuming all mentioned peaks to occur under continued sustainable growth the “ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland-Report, 1987; p. 41) might be impaired more extensively than anticipated in previous articles. Building on Kerschner (2010) this paper understands degrowth as the global North’s path towards an equitable global quasi steady-state economy. However, based on the current political inertia government-led top-down actions are unlikely to bring about a transition towards sustainability. Therefore, alternatives in form of grassroots movements and civil disobedience are evaluated in their effectiveness for this transition. Specifically, Occupy Wall Street and the Icelandic Saucepan Revolution are contrasted. From these cases social pressure and the value systems of societies among the global North are identified as key levers for change.
Keywords: peak everything, grassroots movement, civil disobedience, transition, sustainability