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 RomneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems Dem senator: Many Republicans 'privately expressed concerns' about Mueller findings Romney expresses opposition to Alabama abortion ban MORE, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump 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.