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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Sure, let's take the one thing that makes Star Trek possible and demonize it. It's painfully obvious that the writer of this episode wanted to make a political point about the use of fossil fuels here on earth. Leave it to a liberal to pee on everyone's parade.

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