Earth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private

The daughter of Earth Day's founder said in an interview published Sunday that most Republican leaders believe in climate change in public.

Tia Nelson, daughter of the late Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) who founded earth day in 1970, told NBC News that leaders in the Republican party oppose government action on climate on "ideological grounds."


"I have videos of Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump's no racist; he's an equal opportunity offender Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Lindsey Graham: 'Graham wants to bring back 1950s McCarthyism' Meghan McCain knocks Lindsey Graham for defending Trump's tweets: 'This is not the person I used to know' MORE — all prominent Republicans — 10 years ago saying climate change is a risk to the economy and the environment," Nelson said.

"There’s enormous sums of money spent to spread misinformation to the public and for dirty campaign contributions to the coffers of conservative leaders who, at the end of the day, if you could get most of these guys in a private place, they’d probably tell you they actually do believe climate change is happening, But, just on ideological grounds, they want to avoid any type of government intervention in solving the crisis."

Earth Day, held every year on April 22, is meant to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

A nationally representative survey conducted in late 2018 by Yale and George Mason University found that 69 percent of Americans are “somewhat worried” about climate change and 29 percent are “very worried,” suggesting that belief in climate change is not partisan. The poll was not broken down by party affiliation.