Sure, plenty of people are finally talking about climate change seriously (even if some important people who should be, aren't). But not many were talking about it in 1989, the year Bill McKibben's The End of Nature was published in book form after it was serialized in The New Yorker. In the years since, McKibben has dedicated himself to studying and advocating for sustainable living and development -- while also organizing some of the biggest climate change-related demonstrations the world has seen. A former Guggenheim fellow and contributor to The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly and Harper's, among others, McKibben is arguably the foremost environmentalist writer working. The 2011-2012 American Studies Sustainability Project at Vanderbilt -- a series of classes, speakers, films and "actions" -- gets under way with this not-to-be-missed appearance.