Fact check: Gohmert's attempts to connect moon orbits and solar flares to climate change
June 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas made an argument about climate change at a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday that appeared to elicit confusion from a government official and ridicule on Twitter.
During the Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing, Gohmert appeared to draw a connection between the moon and Earth's orbit and solar flares to climate change.
In questioning US Forest Service Associate Deputy Chief Jennifer Eberlien, Gohmert asked if the National Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management could change the orbits of the moon and Earth, making a comment that some saw as an attempt to argue that climate change should be viewed as a natural phenomenon rather than man-made.
"I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they have found that the moon's orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth's orbit around the sun," Gohmert said.
Brian Brettschneider, a climate scientist and professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, wrote tersely, "We cannot change the Earth's or Moon's orbit.
In an article written by NASA, the agency notes -- citing the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- that the "scientific consensus is that long and short-term variations in solar activity play only a very small role in Earth's climate. "
The idea that the changing of the Earth's and moon's orbits is also a major contributor to climate change is incorrect.