The value of a whale

On the illusions of green capitalism

By Adrienne Buller

The value of a whale

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6263-2
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £12.99
  • Published Date: July 2022
  • BIC Category: Business Studies, Economics, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Finance / General, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate Finance / Valuation *, Corporate Finance, Climate change, Economics, finance, business & management / Political economy, Environmental Economics


Nature is collapsing at an unprecedented rate. Despite countless pledges and summits, we remain on course for a catastrophic 3C of warming. And in a world of immense wealth, billions still live below the poverty line - and on the frontlines of environmental breakdown. Increasingly, the world is waking up this reality, but are the 'solutions' being proposed really solutions?

In this searing and insightful critique, Adrienne Buller examines the escalating plunder of the natural world under financial capitalism, and exposes the fatal biases that have shaped climate and environmental policymaking. Tracing the intricate connections between financial power, vested interests and environmental governance, she exposes the myopic economism and market-centric thinking presently undermining a future where all life can flourish. Both honest and optimistic, How to value the earth asks us - in the face of crisis - what we really value.


Introduction: What's the value of a whale?
1 The tragedy of the horizon
2 Sleepwalkers and seers: How finance shapes the future
3 Alchemists: What's green is gold
4 On borrowed time: From repayment to reparation
5 Whales and white elephants: On the financialisation of nature
6 Living in the age of BlackRock
Epilogue: On the value of the whale



Adrienne Buller is a Senior Fellow at Common Wealth, a progressive think tank focused on the democratic economy. Her writing has featured in The Guardian, The Financial Times, The New Statesman, Jacobin, and New Left Review.

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