Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert has drawn ridicule for asking Tuesday at a congressional hearing if changing the moon’s orbit around the Earth, or the Earth’s orbit around the sun, might be a solution to tackle the climate crisis.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the BLM [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” Gohmert said. “I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun. We know there’s been significant solar flare activity and so… is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun? Obviously, that would have profound effects on our climate.”
Gohmert posed his question to the associate deputy chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Jennifer Erberlien, during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing. Erberlien responded “I would have to follow up with you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
The Texas Republican has since been mocked across social media platforms. Among them, Californian Rep. Ted Lieu took to Twitter on Wednesday to parody Gohmert by suggesting that Marvel Comics’ character Captain Marvel could handle the job.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu tweeted.
Others, however, have warned that Gohmert’s question implies that climate change is a phenomenon of natural changes in the orbits of celestial bodies, rendering any other efforts to address it futile. In an interview with Fox Business Network last month, Gohmert denied that climate change is a manmade problem. “We can’t do anything substantive about climate change right now, when the moon’s orbit is apparently changing some, the Earth’s orbit is changing some, according to NASA,” he stated. Space agencies were quick to confirm that orbits are not to blame for the current rate of global warming.