action > inaction
Are the benefits of using carbon greater than the cost of climate change? To answer this question, an independent organization called DARA created a report in September, 2012 studying the economic costs of climate change. Much has been said about the moral, political, and social costs of Climate Change, but with Climate Change caused disease, droughts, storms, habitat changes and more there's a clear economic $$ cost as well.
You can access the costs, both in $$ (/econ) and in number of deaths (/deaths) through this API for the year 2010 and DARA's projected costs for 2030. There is reason to believe that these projections and estimates are too conservative (Hurricane Sandy, for example, cost an estimated $45 Billion alone). However, even with DARA's conservative estimates, taking action (like carbon taxes, green investments) is a far better $$ ROI than inaction.
Using BrighterPlanet's Data, calculate your personal carbon usage for automobiles, flights, and diet. Then you will see your "externalized cost on the environment" in $$ based on data from DARA. This is a cost you don't pay at the gas pump, but is shared by the world. Think of it like an extra tax added on top.
Use the API to lookup the true economic cost of the environnment and calculate your carbon usage and associated externalized cost. Click the below for documentation and examples.
What goes into the cost of Climate Change?