By Gregory Kirschling
Updated August 06, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Very mild spoiler alert about the new season of 24, set to be unleashed next January: “When appropriate,” according to the Fox website, season 7 will incorporate “the issue of global warming and the importance of carbon emission reduction into storylines.”

It’s high time. For six seasons now, you can’t help but have noticed that Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland, pictured) has been cavalier about turning all the lights off whenever he leaves the room. Maybe now, he’ll be washing his clothes in cold water and upgrading to compact fluorescent light bulbs. (At least he hasn’t been wasting too much water in the bathroom, since he appears able to go for a whole day without bathing or flushing a toilet.) But really — what could this mean for the show? This season, will Jack be up to his neck in flooded coastlines?

This tidbit about plot was buried in bigger news about the show’s production: it’s going green. In an effort to get viewers (and other Hollywood productions) thinking about climate change, 24‘s producers are forsaking diesel power for biodiesel and plain old electricity, they’re giving their location scouts Priuses, and they’re gonna e-mail top-secret scripts and notes instead of deliver them via black SUV. The goal, they say, is a 24 season 7 finale that’s entirely “carbon neutral.” All kidding aside (since global warming probably will kill us all), it’s a noble goal. Still, you gotta wonder: is the show trying to make it up to lefties who’ve been turned off by all the torture on 24? How long can Fox News pundits keep belittling carbon neutrality when their favorite Fox drama — as well as their boss, Rupert Murdoch — is committed to it? And can a global-warming storyline win back 24 fans who thought season 6 was dullsville?

addCredit(“Kiefer Sutherland: Kelsey McNeal”)