That an ounce of prevention ought to nearly always be worth a pound of cure can be expressed in a new way, if you look at it the terms of the effects of extreme environmental stress, and the potential that creates for increased, armed, hostilities between nations and various ethnic groups. In that context it might not be much of a stretch at all to say that successful measures to address carbon in the air, or whatever poison pumped into the ground, or our oceans, enacted now would be worth any number of new weapons systems, or new divisions so equipped, to handle the collateral damage after one catastrophic event or another. And this would be even more so if we could combine diverted arms spending towards specific development efforts with doing such things in coordination with those geopolitical players out there that we're already feeling increased tensions with.
This is something I've already talked about in regards to the Chinese, and the increased tensions in the South China Sea (see here and here--in the fourth paragraph especially). It is, after all, energy, as well as ocean fisheries, that cause a significant portion of these new tensions.
The bottom line here is that there are things, of a mutual benefit to both us, them, and the planet, that we could develop together that would ease both pollution and international tensions.
How climate disasters can drive violent conflict around the world