The Internet is Teeming With Conspiracy Theories About the Australia Bushfires

Here’s our roundup of the most egregious ones being circulated online.

Here at Silica, we can’t wait for the day everyone can agree that the environment is good and climate change is real. Until then, every time something burns, dries up, storms or floods, someone will inevitably make up a conspiracy theory about it on the internet.

This month — as record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought are fueling a series of massive bushfires across Australia — is apparently no different. Below is our round-up of the most ridiculous Australia Fire conspiracy theories being circulated online right now, roughly ordered by the creativity of their claims.

1. #ArsonEmergency

Essentially the idea that ‘Greenies’ and rogue environmental activists are intentionally lighting fires to draw attention to climate change. Those reports that 43 people have been arrested for Arson in Victoria? Wrong. 101 arrested in Queensland for feeding fires. Also wrong. Don’t believe the bots, people.

2. The “Smart City” Conspiracy

This theory, perpetuated by Alex Jones himself, posits that the Australian government is to blame for purposely creating the bushfire crisis to clear land for a new high-speed rail system. Because public transportation = socialism = deep state intentions, I guess?

2. Map-gate

Not necessarily a conspiracy, but still a source of rampant misinformation being circulated online. Apparently, lots of people (including Rihanna) are sharing maps that either overblow the crisis, misinterpret scientific data, or just totally get their Mercatorian geography wrong. Please. If you’re going to speak out, make sure the data you’re using is accurate.

4. ISIS?

Really not sure how the Islamic State could invade Australia and light thousands of fires without being noticed, but you know, someone had to blame them. This might be the least creative conspiracy theory being circulated online right now, except for those positing that the fires were caused by…


We’ll credit this one to Rev. Steven Anderson, the anti-gay pastor from Tempe, Arizona who claimed in a recent Facebook post that the deadly bushfires that have ravaged Australia are God’s revenge against the country for banning him entry last year. Yes, evangelicals. It’s all about you.

To learn more about what’s actually causing the fires in Australia, please (we urge you) click here.

Read more on The Guardian.