US Congressman suggests changing the Earth's orbit to fix climate change

A Texas Congressman has been mocked after asking whether the problem of climate change could be solved via changing the orbits of the moon or Earth.

Louie Gohmert, a Republican, made the odd suggestion during a hearing earlier this week.

Gohmert's bizarre question wasn't posed to an astrophysicist or engineer, but a forestry official. 

"I understand from what's been testified to the Forest Service and the BLM [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change... 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?

"Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate."

The official told him she'd have to "follow up with you on that one", smiling.

"If you figure out there's a way in the Forest Service you could make that change, I'd like to know," Gohmert replied. 

A California Congressman suggested a way it could be done - enlisting the fictional Captain Marvel. 

"She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers," he tweeted. "I'm going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help."

Gohmert has previously expressed scepticism that climate change was manmade, despite it being the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists.

"We can't do anything substantive about the climate change right now, when the moon's orbit is apparently changing some, the Earth's orbit is changing some, according to NASA," Gohmert told Fox News in May. 

NASA told NBC News the current rate of change in the climate cannot be blamed on planetary orbits.

"Past climatic changes driven by small variations in Earth's position relative to the Sun, known as orbital or Milankovitch cycles, take place over tens of thousands of years," a spokesperson said.

"These orbital cycles are not producing the changes we observe in our satellite and surface climate records, including rapid warming and CO2 levels that are unprecedented for millions of years.... scientific evidence shows that human emissions of greenhouse gases, primarily through burning fossil fuels and land use, are driving climate change now."

If warming isn't curbed soon, scientists warn of devastating sea level rises and changes to climate.