Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, suggested at a congressional hearing that climate change could be combated by changing the lunar orbit, and asked a U.S. Forest Service official if the agency could do so in any way.
Gohmert made the remarks Tuesday during a hearing by the House Natural Resources Committee on four bills when he questioned Jennifer Eberlien, an assistant vice president of Forest Service.
“I understand, from what has been witnessed by the Forest Service and the BLM, you would very much like to work on the issue of climate change,” Gohmert said, referring to the Bureau of Land Management.
“I was informed by the immediate former director of NASA that they have found that the moon̵
Eberlien replied, smiling, “I have to follow up on you, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you find that there is a way in the forest service, you can make that change, I would like to know,” Gohmert said.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, offered his own solution to Gohmert on Twitter on Wednesday, suggesting that Marvel Comics’ character Captain Marvel could handle the job.
“She can change planetary orbits with her superpowers. I want to work on a two-party resolution asking for her help,” Lieu tweeted.
As for the “immediate former director of NASA” Gohmert mentioned in his remarks, it would probably be Jim Bridenstine, a former member of the Oklahoma Congress, who had been a skeptical climate changeer, arguing years ago that humans are not responsible for global warming.
“Global temperature changes, when they exist, correlate with solar production and ocean cycles,” he said in comments about the house floor in 2013.
He said this position had evolved in 2017 when then-President Donald Trump nominated him to be NASA’s administrator. Bridenstine told The Washington Post that after hearing from experts and reading on the subject, “I myself came to the conclusion that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that we have put a lot of it into the atmosphere, and therefore we have contributed to the global heating we have seen. “
“And we’ve done it in really significant ways,” he said.
Bridenstine could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Gohmert, an outspoken opponent of Democrats’ plans to fight climate change, has said he does not believe it is a man-made problem.
“We can not do anything substantial about climate change right now, when the moon’s orbit is apparently changing something, the earth’s orbit is changing some according to NASA,” he told Fox Business Network last month.
In a statement to NBC News, the space agency said runways are not to blame for the current level of global warming.
“Past climate change driven by small variations in the Earth’s position relative to the Sun, known as orbits or Milankovitch cycles, takes place over tens of thousands of years,” the agency said Thursday. “These orbital orbits do not produce the changes we observe in our satellite and surface climate records, including rapid warming and CO2 levels that have been unprecedented for millions of years.” It added, “scientific evidence shows that human emissions of greenhouse gases, primarily through fossil fuel burning and land use, are now driving climate change.”
“Understanding that greenhouse gas emissions are overwhelmingly responsible for the observed warming allows the scientific community to inform decision makers about how decisions regarding energy sources and land management will determine the amount of future climate change,” the statement said.
The agency’s website says “the current warming trend is of particular importance because most of it is highly likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be a result of human activity since the mid-20th century and continues at a rate that has been unprecedented for millennia. “