U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert knows jack shit about science. But that sure hasn’t stopped the East Texas Republican from making a litany of fascinating scientific observations.
Anyone remember when he said climate change was great because it helps plants grow, that the Alaskan pipeline aided the sex lives of caribou or that he didn’t need a mask during the pandemic because he was regularly tested for the coronavirus? (That last experiment apparently didn’t play out so well, since Gohmert later contracted COVID-19.)
But even after all that, the conspiracy mongering and climate change-denying congressman may have topped himself this week. During a House Natural Resources Committee hearing, he asked whether federal land agencies can alter the orbit of the Earth and moon — you know, so they can go ahead and fix this whole climate change mess once and for all.
“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 says in a clip shared by Forbes. “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 [Bureau of Land Management] 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.”
It’s unclear whether Gohmert intended his question to be a sarcastic or whether it displays a scientific ignorance so profound that he has no clue how fucked the Earth would be if forest rangers tampered with those orbits.
Either way, the expert to whom he addressed the query replies with a level of diplomacy that qualifies her for work at the State Department if that whole science thing doesn’t pan out for her.
“I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert,” she replies after a full three-second pause. Then she flashes a broad smile.