Australia’s Latest Flood Wasn’t a Government Conspiracy. It’s Climate Change.

A conspiracy theory about cloud seeding arose in Australia as a massive flood hit Sydney and prompted an evacuation order for 50,000 people.

1 share
Flood in Albert St, Brisbane, Australia
Source: Jono Haysom


What's your favorite conspiracy theory?

Last week, 50,000 people in and around Sydney, Australia were ordered to evacuate their homes as eight months worth of rain hit the region in about four days. The magnitude of this flood prompted a TikTok conspiracy theory that the Australian government was controlling the weather via a process called cloud seeding. Ethan breaks down why cloud seeding can’t really drive a flood of this magnitude, how climate change played into the flood, and the significance of the fact that the general public is thinking about the weather in new (if inaccurate) ways in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.”

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at


Writer: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maxwell Pociask, Naomi Rubin, Maddy Schmidt

Fact Checker: Isabel Plower

Editor: Will Andronico

Producers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano

Ad Voiceover: Naomi Rubin

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.

Like it? Share with your friends!

1 share
The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


Leave a Reply