US Senator has novel plan to combat climate change

June 23, 2021

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Climate Change

US Senator Louie Gohmert, from Texas, has recently asked the country’s Forestry Service if they can look into a thought he’s had about how to combat climate change:

I guess Louie skipped astronomy class, and doesn’t have a good grasp of just how massive the moon and earth are. Of course I looked it up, as the internet has answers to all sorts of daft questions. The energy needed to be able to move the moon out of earth’s orbit is around 2x1028 joules (around 3 trillion megatons of TNT, or 6 billion large fusion bombs), so even moving the moon a little is going to take a fraction of that - probably millions of nukes.

I had an inkling from his question that maybe Senator Gohmert is no stranger to weird ideas, so I looked up his history as a Senator (opens new window) since 2005. He once said that the people who were massacred in an Aurora cinema didn’t believe in God enough, promoted a conspiracy called "terror babies" - the idea that pregnant terrorist women were visiting the US to ensure their children had US passports, so that when they grow up they can legally visit the US to attack it, thought Obama was a muslim working with the Muslim Brotherhood, and pushed his "gay island" theory for why gay marriage should not be legalised - apparently if you put four heterosexual couples on an island, they would be able to procreate and continue their lineage, but four homosexual couples would cause humans on the island to die out. And this would also be the case for space colonies. How this is a reason to not afford equal rights to gay couples is beyond me, unless he really thinks that eventually everyone’s going to become gay, and that stopping gay people from marrying will force them instead to be heterosexual.

My favourite weirdness is when he argued for an oil pipeline to not be shut down until a study had been completed on its effects on the local caribou population. In his own words:

"When [the caribou] want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. So [my] real concern now [is] ... if oil stops running through the pipeline ... do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?" \

More worryingly, he’s tried to get support for bombing Iran, tried to have martial law introduced at the Mexican border, and promoted a magic German "mist" and hydroxy-chloroquine as COVID cures.

I’m always amazed when people like this end up being voted in for successive terms in US politics. It seems that political party membership is more important than the truth for many voters. It would be nice to see people voting based on candidates’ decision making skills, but I fear that this idea of being loyal to one’s party, come what may, could be an infection that spreads to other countries.

Let’s hope that in NZ, despite a few of the fringe parties playing fast and loose with the truth, we can keep voting for MPs who, most of the time, will at least try to enact policy based on evidence and expert advice.