Representative Louie Gohmert, the representative of Texas' 1st congressional district, has asked the US Forest Science if they could do anything to alter the orbit of the Earth and the Moon to combat climate change.

Whether he was serious or not with his question, Rep. Gohmert sure did raise some eyebrows during the routine committee hearing this week.

But is it actually possible to change the Earth's and Moon's orbits? If yes, how would this affect the planet, and will it finally stop climate change?

Is It Possible to Change Earth's and Moon's Orbit to Fight Climate Change?
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars orbiting around the Sun.

Changing the Earth's Orbit to Combat Climate Change

Speaking to Jennifer Eberlein, associate deputy chief of the National Forest System, Gohmert said that perhaps the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could change the course of the Moon's orbit or the Earth's orbit around the sun as it would obviously have profound effects on the planet's climate.

To which Eberlein responded that she would give a follow-up to Gohmert on that one as soon as she has the answer. According to The Hill's report, Gohmert said: "Well, if you figure out a way that you in the Forest Service can make that change, I'd like to know."

It was not clear whether he was serious with his question or not, although he prefaced the question with a previous conversation with a former NASA administrator about the Earth's and Moon's axis.

Earth's Orbit is Changing, and the Moon is Moving Away

NASA explained in a blog post that changes in the Earth's orbit have been changing in a cycle that takes about 100,000 years from being a perfectly circular orbit into a slightly more elliptical one.

Moreover, the space agency said that the angle at which the Earth tilts has also shifted slightly or "wobbles" o its axis for over tens of thousands of years, a change dubbed as the Milanković cycles after the Serbian astronomer who first hypothesized them named Milutin Milanković.

NASA said that these changes in the orbit and axis could affect the climate in both the short-term and long-term. But noted that it would only have little effect on the seasons experienced on the planet. Additionally, astronomers reported observing that the Moon has been slowly moving away from Earth for an inch every year.

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Can Humans Change the Earth's and Moon's Orbit?

According to Live Science, a day may come in the next five billion years when the Sun will run out of fuel and expand, that would most likely engulf the Earth and cause an apocalypse. But before that, humans might find a way to move the Earth to a wider orbit.

But they would have to solve engineering challenges first to move the Earth from its current orbit to over half further from the Sun, ideally like the Mars' orbit.

Scientists have been designing techniques to move asteroids from orbits for many years to mainly protect the planet, which could probably be useful in moving the Earth.

Some ways could be using electric thrusters to push the planet away from its orbit, like having "300 billion launches at full capacity by the SpaceX Falcon Heavy," according to LiveScience.

There is also the possibility of sailing on light using the enormous 100GW laser plant used to propel spacecraft out of the Solar System or use the interplanetary billiard wherein two orbiting bodies exchange momentum and velocity extensively used by interplanetary probes.

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