Former presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, in a talk held at Washington University, expressed concern over Republican party denial of climate change, while acknowledging some privately believe it’s happening, but fear economic consequences of action. Last month Romney tweeted in support of a carbon dividend plan unveiled by conservative statesmen George Shultz and James A. Baker.

He called “the idea of doing nothing” on climate change “a recipe for disaster.” He added that the U.S. should take a leadership role on the international stage. Related, Romney also said he’s “concerned about the anti-scientific attitude” of politicians and the public alike, calling such sentiment an attack on “the root of America’s innovation.”

Romney said the key is for the U.S. to be “not just strong and powerful, but a nation that is good…goodness is essential to greatness.”