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Rep. Louie Gohmert asks if the Forest Service can change the Earth’s or the moon’s orbit to combat climate change

WASHINGTON – If the U.S. Forest Service can do something to change the Moon’s or Earth’s orbit, Rep. Louie Gohmert knows it.

During a hearing in the House, Republican Tyler stumped a top agency by asking her about the forest service’s ability to move celestial bodies given his view that humanity is not otherwise capable of improving the climate – e.g. By cutting back on the use of fossil fuels.

“I was informed by the former director of NASA that they have found that the moon̵

7;s orbit is changing slightly, and so has the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” Gohmert said during the hearing on Tuesday, noting “significant” solar storm activity this week. “Is there something like the National Forest Service or [Bureau of Land Management] can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the earth’s orbit around the sun? It would, of course, have profound effects on our climate. ”

There was a noticeable pause from Jennifer Eberlien, associate vice president of Forest Service, part of the Department of Agriculture, which manages 193 million acres around the state around Texas.

BLM is actually part of the interior department, which also does not deal with space research.

“I have to follow up with you, Mr Gohmert,” Eberlien replied with a small laugh.

“Well, if you find out how you in the forest service can make that change, I want to know,” Gohmert said.

The Tea Party Conservative was deadpan through the exchange that took place during a discussion of a bill from the rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Liberal Democrat from Michigan, on ordering a report on the impact of recreational permits on “environmental justice communities.”

Moriba Jah, an astrodynamics expert and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, called Gohmert’s proposal “crazy” and “as feasible as making the sun rise in the west.”

Satirical or not, Jah said, hearing someone in such a position of power “make statements that are blatantly dismissive of science … it makes me a little nervous.”

Social media users and Democrats also jumped.

“Captain Marvel,” tweeted the rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. “She can change planetary orbits with her superpowers. I have to work on a two-party resolution asking for her help. ”

“Louie Gohmert is an example of what happens when Texans wear their cowboy hats too tight,” read a tweet as another critic felt Gohmert “never disappoints in the Department of Lunacy.”

Gohmert’s office did not respond to requests for comment as to whether he was satirical, and he had not elaborated.

This is not the first time he has proclaimed theories that critics consider separate.

Gohmert has repeatedly downplayed the January 6 attack on the Capitol and has spread unsubstantiated allegations about coronavirus. Last year, he said he did not have to wear a mask because he was tested regularly.

Astrophysicists have long observed that the Earth’s orbital steps are slightly displaced over eons.

Such “Milankovitch cycles”, named after a Serbian scientist who studied the relationship between shifts and ice ages, have been used to explain long-term climate change.

But the scientific consensus is that minute shifts since the 19th century cannot explain the dramatic and dangerous changes that have led to more extreme heat waves, hurricanes and forest fires.

“Earth is currently in an interglacial period (a period of milder climate between ice ages),” according to a statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “If there was no human impact on the climate, scientists say the Earth’s current orbital positions within the Milankovitch cycles predict that our planet will cool, not heat up, continuing a long-term cooling trend that began 6,000 years ago.”

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