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Rep. Louie Gohmert: Have We Considered Simply Altering the Orbit of the Earth and the Moon?

Kyle Koster
Earthrise
Earthrise / Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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During a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) floated an interesting possibility for combating climate change: Simply alter the orbits of the moon around the Earth around the sun and, viola, problem solved. Or possibly solved, as it's simply an idea he's heard discussed.

No one should be surprised at the out-of-the-box suggestion considering Gohmert's previous views on the topic ... and all topics really. Here's his question followed by a patient and saintly response from an expert.

It's entirely possible this was a sarcastic question wasting everyone's time because we all know there is plenty of time for Congress to walk and chew gum at the same time — multitasking that usually manifests in the real world by not even attempting to fix any of the myriad crises that require combating.

All that serious stuff out of the way, here's the angle I'd like to explore. Let's say that as a world we come to an overwhelming consensus that altering these orbits would be a game-changer in terms of climate change. For the sake of the hypothetical, it would reduce the process by 50 percent year over year.

How would the decision to enact such drastic measures be made? Would there be a vote? By what body? A unilateral decision made by a zillionaire? These feels like an Armageddon situation. Who would Earth's Bruce Willis be? We wouldn't actually put the fate of humanity in a rag-tag team like in the movies. Would we?

Think of how scary that process would be, whatever it entails? Think of the abject terror of something going wrong. Knowing the moon was going to collide with our planet and being unable to stop it. Drifting either further away or closer to the sun. What a bad way to go.

All of this to say, I'm not so sure I'd be on board no matter how much it solved the climate crisis. And I've been known to wear socks with sandals, have multiple compost piles in my back yard, and observe those ozone action days even if the lawn needs mowing.

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