I love a good conspiracy theory. Some of my favourite conspiracy theories include the Royal Family being shape-shifting lizards, part of some global reptilian elite controlling the world or Alex Jones’ famous rant where he claims the government is putting chemicals into the water turning frogs gay.
The late-2019 Australian bushfires which have burned into 2020 have attracted some crazy individuals claiming all kinds of crazy things. People have lost their lives, thousands of homes destroyed, towns completely wiped, millions of hectares burned, over 1 billion animals estimated to have been killed.
It all started when Barnaby Joyce helped start the rumour that the Greens were responsible for the bushfires by proclaiming they have stopped needed fire-reduction efforts and locked up national parks. In amongst all of this, another conspiracy has been spreading amongst the inner crazy circles of the internet.
Allegedly, some elite secretive entities with an agenda for a high-speed rail line started the fires in the needed areas where the line would go and furthermore, an agenda to force people in regional areas into cities so they can be “more easily controlled”.
I would say you can’t make this stuff up, but here we are talking about it.
One of Australia’s most well-known weather centric Facebook groups Higgins Storm Chasers has also helped spread the rumour to their 10k followers.
This post, in particular, loses credibility almost instantly by claiming that dry lightning is a new and made-up term. Ignoring the fact that dry thunderstorms are well-documented and occurring phenomena that happen in dry areas.
As can be expected, crazy attracts crazy. The comments section, things start to spiral out of control quite quickly. People start sharing images of what they believe to be chemtrails and planes spray chemicals in the sky, presumably to cover bushland in some kind of combustible material.
The thing is, the unprecedented fires we are seeing don’t need anything sprayed in the areas to make the fires spread. The fuel is the incredibly dry bushland catching alight.
Furthermore, there are much better ways to make money than a train line. Look to other established rail lines and services, Amtrak doesn’t turn a profit and it turns out in the UK private railway operators have realised that they’re not profitable either.
Whoever these elite corporate shadow entities are, they have a terrible business sense if they think a high-speed rail line is going to be their ticket to riches. Given the exorbitant cost of constructing such a line, it would take decades for it to earn the money back (if it ever manages to achieve profitability).
These bushfires are being spread by insanely dry conditions, caused by climate change. We need to be smart and plan accordingly for the future because this is just going to keep happening. We can let the crazies play in their little crazy corner on the internet while the sane ones try and come up with solutions to stop these fires from spreading as badly as they have.