A thinly veiled (ie., completely transparent) metaphor for climate change. It's a noble story idea executed in a poor way, and actually has more impact today than it probably did in 1993. Most of the genuinely fun or interesting parts come from the Data/Geordi friendship b-story which involves an attempt to train Data's cat, Spot.

It's a shame that the franchise never really did much to follow on from the apparently important in-universe issues raised here.

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