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On the Illusions of Green Capitalism

Nature is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate. Despite countless pledges and summits, we remain on course for a catastrophic 3 degrees Celsius of warming. 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 to 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. The book explains what is wrong with carbon pricing, off-setting and asset management’s recent interest in all things environmental. Both honest and optimistic, The value of a whale asks us – in the face of crisis – what we really value.

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Economics and the collapse of possibility
Adrienne Buller

damage ‘the economy’, understood through the impossibly narrow frame of GDP growth – itself inappropriately conflated with human welfare as well as a historically recent and contestable objective. Over the past few decades, the combined tenets of neoclassical economic thought and neoliberal statecraft have narrowed and cemented the parameters within which climate and environmental policy is permitted to operate. In this sense, mainstream or ‘market-centriceconomics has been an essential tool in the advance of green capitalism

in The Value of a Whale
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Limits of the market and capital
Aleksander Buzgalin
Andrey Kolganov

anticipation of it. In the case of economics, the market-bourgeois system enjoys today a dominance like that it enjoyed in the nineteenth century. Whereas then, non-‘market-centric’ economic theory was excluded as unnecessary and dangerous in order to ensure the final victory of market-centric economics, today, other views are considered unnecessary and dangerous to ensure the system's self-preservation. In either case, any other theory is unnecessary for economic subjects that are intertwined in practice (and not just ideologically) with the market system (that is, which

in Twenty-first-century capital
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Valuing a disappearing world
Adrienne Buller

inequity. This chapter explores the increasing prominence with which ‘nature’ – from mineral resources to biodiversity – features at the core of green capitalism. 13 Having side-lined nature for decades, treating it as simply an input to the discrete and bounded unit of ‘the economy’, market-centric economics is now confronting the profound physical consequences of that neglect. The extent to which unabated consumption and exploitation of resources in service of the enormous economic growth that defined the twentieth and

in The Value of a Whale