According to an analysis by Governor Brown’s Office of Policy and Research (OPR), the cost of mitigating climate-change symptoms each year will cost Californians well over $50 billion. That begs the question: Is it worth it?

If you believe the doomsday predictions of global-warming enthusiasts – more droughts, melting snow caps and rising seas, to name just a few – of course it’s worth it. What wouldn’t humans pay to avoid ending life as we know it?

A lot, say Governor Brown and the advocates. That’s why they’ve created a long list of mitigation measures for us Earth-dwellers to follow. Surely, they know best. Like requiring, in California only, the placement of solar panels on all new housing, starting in 2020, even though this is much less efficient than filling the now-vacant rooftops adorning the square footage of existing (urban) commercial space with solar. They also let gross polluters off the hook by allowing them to offset with money the filth they produce. That’s sure to curb emissions. And, they are ordering that commercial and residential buildings, at risk of being inundated by emerging coastal tides, be replaced. Are seawalls now ineffective?

“Ignore efficiency,” advocates will plead. “This is a crisis.” With this imperative, then, regular Californians are expected to just blindly pay the sky-high cost of mitigation. Since, it’s asserted, that other (worse) global emitters of deadly greenhouse gases are doing the same thing, why can’t we? Forget the observation by UC Berkeley professor Solomon Hsiang – a climate-change researcher – that “we are right now disproportionately bearing the brunt of dealing with both the impacts (of climate change) and trying to mitigate it ourselves.” Is Hsiang right? Is California being asked, expected to do too much?

No, says one of Governor Brown’s key backers, Next 10, a group that researches environmental and economic policy. Next 10 suggests that the benefits of the state’s climate policies outweigh the costs because California can demonstrate to the rest of the world what’s possible to fight global warming. “In certain instances it will involve increased costs to Californians,” said Noel Perry, founder of Next 10. “But, because of how huge climate change is, we need to address it.”

In reality, cost doesn’t matter to the likes of Governor Brown, who considers it California’s duty to lead the rest of the world on climate change. Governor Brown voiced his commitment to solving the environmental crisis: “Since climate change is [an] existential threat, [we must pursue all efforts] that will save lives and prevent catastrophe for California, for America and the world.”

This indifference to cost is why the Governor, while he was California’s attorney general, sued one community after another for failing to adopt into their general plans various means of mitigating climate change. He used CEQA as the legal weapon in those lawsuits. And, he won them, of course, costing the localities millions of dollars in legal fees and bankrupting one community. Taxpayers paid the freight and, as consumers, paid the mitigation costs imposed on businesses.

For their part, mitigation costs haven’t fazed California legislators. Echoing Governor Brown’s climate-change admonitions, lawmakers recently approved a bill, SB 100, to require that all electricity in California come from renewable sources such as solar and wind by the end of 2045. That’s right – 100 percent of the energy for a state with an expected population of 50 million must be renewable. If the utilities can deliver on that pledge, then, what have we been paying for all this time? Or, are we facing increased rates to cover the utilities’ new capital costs?

Incidentally, in response to the legislation but, unfortunately, to the tone-deaf ears of fellow lawmakers, one skeptical opponent of SB 100 declared, California already has both the nation’s highest poverty rate and the highest per-kilowatt cost for electricity. “Shouldn’t those facts be considered?” he asked. No, they shouldn’t was the response of the Legislature’s majority.

Such a summary dismissal of objections to legislation is a regularity of climate-change advocates hovering at the state Capitol and legislative leaders. The advocates’ standard-bearer, progressive state Senator Kevin de León (D–Los Angeles) – author of SB 100 and a candidate for the U.S. Senate – rejected the stated cost concerns, saying they are nothing more than the rhetoric of naysayers “who try to undermine our clean-energy climate goals.” De Leon and his supporters say increased costs for fuel and electricity are more than offset by efficiency standards for cars and appliances. So, in effect, costs are savings.

That logic won’t be altered in California anytime soon. Indeed, the state – and particularly Governor Brown – is keeping climate change in the news and so long as Democrats in the majority don’t care about the consequences – and they clearly don’t – expect still more costly mitigation measures.