Fact Check

Did Lauren Boebert Say the Moon Is More Useful Than the Sun?

"The moon is actually more useful than the sun, since the moon gives us light at night when it's dark," the alleged quote begins.

Published Jan 11, 2024

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) leaves a House Republican caucus meeting where the conference met to vote on a Speaker of House nominee in the Longworth House Office Building on Oct. 11, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Image Via Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Claim:
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert once said, "The moon is actually more useful than the sun, since the moon gives us light at night when it's dark. The sun only gives us light during the day, when it's already light out."

In early January 2024, we received reader mail that asked if Colorado U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert had once said the words, "The moon is actually more useful than the sun, since the moon gives us light at night when it's dark. The sun only gives us light during the day, when it's already light out."

Accompanying one reader's email was a picture of Boebert gesturing as if she was opining about the moon being more useful than the sun. The reader asked, "Did Boebert actually say this?"

We found the same image posted multiple times on X:

However, Boebert never said these words, nor did she write them in a public statement, such as a social media post or press release. If she had, the statement by a sitting member of Congress would have made news headlines. (As readers are hopefully aware, part of the meme's joke was that the light on Earth's moon is, in fact, a reflection of sunlight.) That was not the case.

A Google search for the words "the moon is actually more useful than the sun" produced no genuine results from any date before 2023. The oldest result for the phrase was a February 2023 Reddit post on the r/Showerthoughts subreddit.

However, by removing the word "actually" in our Google search, we retrieved results showing that the phrase "the moon is more useful than the sun" has been around for at least a century, if not far longer.

For example, on June 1, 1875, the British newspaper The Bury and Norwich Post printed the following (emphasis ours):

An Irishman once said that he considered the moon far more useful than the sun, because the sun only shone when it was broad daylight, whereas the moon gave light when it was dark! According to our experience, however, the moon frequently fails to fulfill this expectation, and we therefore hope that the attention of the authorities may be directed to the subject, lest they incur the reproach of "sparing at the spigot, and wasting at the bung-hole."

More recently, social media not only erroneously attached the quote to Boebert, but they also misattributed it to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She never said the words, nor did any other member of Congress (at least according to available records).

Sources

“Moonlight | Sun & Moonlight.” Moon: NASA Science, https://moon.nasa.gov/moon-in-motion/sun-moonlight/moonlight.

“The Bury Post and Suffolk Herald.” The Bury and Norwich Post via Newspapers.com, 1 June 1875, p. 5, https://www.newspapers.com/image/394512608/.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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