GOP congressman asks if US Forest Service can 'change the course of the moon's orbit' to fix climate change

Image via Screengrab.

The good news is a Republican U.S. Congressman appears to believe climate change is real and can be fixed. The bad news is he thinks the federal government can somehow alter the orbit of the moon – or the earth – to do so.

"Is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM [Bureau of Land Management] can do to change the course of the moon's orbit or the Earth's orbit?" Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) asked Jennifer Eberlien, the Associate Deputy Chief at the U.S. Forest Service, as the Daily Dot reports. "Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate."

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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