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Previous story Rep. Louie Gohmert asks if Forest Service can shift Earth's or moon's orbit to fight climate change! Next story

STORY BY SANDRA BLODGET - THE OREGON HERALD

 
Gohmert has a history of making scientifically dubious claims. Last summer, Gohmert suggested he may have contracted COVID-19 because he was wearing a mask, despite health guidance encouraging mask-wearing to reduce the spread of the virus.
Published on June 10, 2021 11:57 PM

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Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas
DALLAS, Texas - Rep. Louie Gohmert asks if Forest Service can shift Earth's or moon's orbit to fight climate change, actually suggesting the agency fight climate change by altering the orbits of Earth or the moon.

While the Earth's natural orbital shifts dictate climate shifts over tens of thousands of years, these changes do not contribute to global warming, according to NASA.

The question came during a live-streamed national parks, forests and public lands subcommittee meeting of the National Resources Committee on Tuesday and was followed by social media mockery.

"I understand from what's been testified to, the Forest Service and the (Bureau of Land Management), you want very much to work on the issue of climate change," Gohmert began his question to Jennifer Eberlein, the associate deputy chief for the National Forest System.

"There's no evidence, as has been said on January 7, that this was an armed insurrection," Gohmert claimed, echoing an eye-popping claim that's also been made by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Gohmert continued, saying: "Armed meaning with firearms. There were no firearms."

Gohmert said he understood NASA's data shows the Earth's and the moon's orbits are "changing slightly."

"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."

Eberlein paused before responding, "I would have to follow up with you on that one, Mr. Gohmert."

"Yeah? Well, if you figure out a way that you in the Forest Service can make that change, I'd like to know," Gohmert said.

Gohmert's question was mocked by nearly everyone on social media, including by members of Congress.

"I know the answer to the question by Rep. Louie Gohmert," tweeted U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California. "Captain Marvel. She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I'm going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help."

Gohmert's idea was shot down by theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack. She suggested two "equally distressing possibilities" explained Gohmert's question.

If the congressman believes the Forest Service or BLM could possibly move the orbits of Earth or the moon, "he does not understand how orbits work," Mack tweeted.

Or, Mack suggested Gohmert was being sarcastic, suggesting fighting climate change is as impossible as changing those orbits.