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Congressman asks if Earth, moon's orbits can be altered to ease climate change

A Republican congressman from Texas has asked a US forestry official if the moon’s orbit, or the Earth’s orbit around the sun, could be altered to have “profound effects” on climate change.

Louie Gohmert directed the question to Jennifer Eberlien, the associate deputy chief of America’s National Forest Service, during a House natural resources committee hearing yesterday.

“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 begins in the video.

“I was informed by the past director of NASA that they’ve found 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 activity, 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?”

“I would have to follow up with you on that one, Mr Gohmert,” Eberlien replies.

“Yeah, well if you figure out a way that you and the forest service can make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert replied.

What exactly the 67-year-old is suggesting in the exchange is unclear but lunar retreat, which is what scientists call the changing of the moon’s orbit around the Earth, is true.

In its existence over what is believed to be 4.5 billion years, the moon has moved roughly 3.78cm further from Earth each year but that rate of retreat has not been constant.