This article argues that climate change has influenced the way in which small island nations are viewed and understood by the international climate community. Climate change has become an internationally recognized and specific language of vulnerability that is deployed in requests
for international aid to fund adaptation and mitigation measures in some small islands, for population relocation plans and human rights advocacy in other islands, and for overhauling the 'tourism product' and creating new markets for travel in others. Vulnerability is a powerful idiom, especially
in the contemporary climate context that has come to imply crisis, change, uncertainty, and immediacy. Importantly, vulnerability also gestures unambiguously toward seemingly limitless scientific and even commercial opportunity. These developments come with new forms of expertise in the natural
and social sciences and the travel industry, as well as with new or reinstated forms of inequity. As the areas of small island expertise increasingly overlap, they come to reproduce the very context and form of small islands themselves.
The field of research on environment and society is growing rapidly and becoming of ever-greater importance not only in academia but also in policy circles and for the public at large. This growth reflects the urgency of debate and the pace and scale of change with respect to the water crisis, deforestation, biodiversity loss, the looming energy crisis, nascent resource wars, environmental refugees, climate change, and environmental justice, which are just some of the many compelling challenges facing society today and in the future. It also reflects the richness and insights of scholarship exploring diverse cultural forms, social phenomena, and political-economic formations in which society and nature are intricately intertwined, if not indistinguishable. As a forum to address these issues, we are delighted to present an important new peer-reviewed annual: Environment and Society: Advances in Research. Through this journal we hope to stimulate advanced research and action on these and other critical issues and encourage international communication and exchange among all relevant disciplines. Environment and Society publishes critical reviews of the latest research literature on environmental studies, including subjects of theoretical, methodological, substantive, and applied significance. Articles also survey the literature regionally and thematically and reflect the work of anthropologists, geographers, environmental scientists, and human ecologists from all parts of the world in order to internationalize the conversations within environmental anthropology, environmental geography, and other environmentally oriented social sciences. The publication will appeal to academic, research, and policy-making audiences alike.