GOP Rep. Gohmert Asks if USFS or BLM Can Change Orbits of the Earth or Moon to Fight Climate Change

GOP Rep. Gohmert Asks if USFS or BLM Can Change Orbits of the Earth or Moon to Fight Climate Change
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) arrives for the House Judiciary Committee markup of the Elder Abuse Protection Act, the Criminal Judicial Administration Act, and other amendments in Washington, DC on May 18, 2021. Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republican Representative Louie Gohmert from Texas made headlines Wednesday after comments he made about climate change and the orbit of the Earth and moon went viral.

In a virtual House Natural Resources Committee hearing, Gohmert asked Jennifer Eberlien, the associate deputy chief for the U.S. Forest Service, whether the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management can "change the course of the moon's orbit or the Earth's orbit around the sun" because "obviously, that would have profound effects on our climate."

This was not the first time Gohmert made comments like this. Last month, in an interview with Fox Business Network, he said, "We can't do anything substantive about the climate change right now, when the moon's orbit is apparently changing some, the Earth's orbit is changing some, according to NASA." It's unclear if the comments, which were widely mocked on social media, were made in earnest, or if they were Gohmert's way of insinuating that addressing climate change is impossible.

He may also have been referring to a debunked myth that solar flares are to blame for climate change, as he stated "there's been significant solar flare activity" before posing the question. Gohmert is a long-time climate change denier, having repeated other classic climate denier talking points over the years.

"The 'science-y sounding' reasons most politicians use to reject climate change are not primarily due to lack of education or knowledge. No: they are deliberately manufactured and offered as palatable excuses to hide the real problem: solution aversion. They don't want to fix it," climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe explained on Twitter.

For a deeper dive:

NBC News, The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, The Guardian, The Hill, Yahoo, Rolling Stone, Salon, VICE, Mother Jones, Business Insider

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