GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert asked a National Forest Service official whether she could alter the orbit of the Earth and moon to address climate change.
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 congressman has long rejected climate science, which proves that climate change is overwhelmingly caused by human activity.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, asked a National Forest Service official whether the federal land agencies could alter the orbit of the Earth and moon to address climate change.
It's unclear whether Gohmert's outlandish question was serious or designed to poke fun during Wednesday's hearing before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.
"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 said. "I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they 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 activities, 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."
Jennifer Eberlie, the associate deputy chief of NFS, took a few seconds before responding.
"I would have to follow up with you on that one, Mr. Gohmert," she said, smiling.
Gohmert went on: "Yeah? Well, if you figure out a way that you and the Forest Service figure can make that change, I'd like to know."
Gohmert's question is premised on a false theory. 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.
Amid widespread criticism of his comments, Gohmert called reporting on his remarks "fake news" and said his reference to "BLM" stood for Bureau of Land Management. It's unclear why he clarified his use of the acronym, which is also used for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The congressman has long rejected climate science proving that climate change is overwhelmingly caused by human activity. He's argued that warm temperatures in Greenland during the Viking era and cold temperatures during the 1970s disprove the scientific consensus on climate change.
"It seems like when you hear somebody say over and over again that climate change is our biggest problem, they don't know that climate has been changing a lot worse over all the millennia of mankind," he told Breitbart News in 2016.
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