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Tim Weiskel
Harvard University Extension School

Research Director

Cambridge Climate Research Associates (CCRA)

TIMOTHY C. WEISKEL, graduated magnum cum laude from Yale University. He trained as a social anthropologist and an historian as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. Following field work in West Africa he received his D.Phil. from Oxford University and returned to the United States to teach anthropology and history at Williams College, Yale University and Harvard.

Dr. Weiskel has had field experience in Syria, Lebanon and throughout West Africa from Senegal to Gabon. In 1966-67 he worked as the West Africa Representative for the volunteer organization Operation Crossroads Africa, Inc.  He returned to West Africa for further work among the Baule peoples of the central Ivory Coast. His field work and archival research on the history and anthropology of the Ivory Coast peoples led to the publication of French Colonial Rule and the Baule Peoples: Resistance and Collaboration, 1889-1911 (Oxford University Press, 1980). Since then he has published several broader articles on the ecological legacy of European colonialism and modern development strategies.

Over the last several decades he has worked on the environmental implications of public policy choices, and he is principal author of the recent work, Environmental Decline and Public Policy: Pattern, Trend and Prospect (1992), based upon testimony he presented to the United States Senate in support of legislation to limit carbon emissions in September of 1988. Most recently research concentrates upon belief systems within cultures and how core cultural beliefs can either facilitate change or block change over time.

In particular, he has examined how dominant belief systems serve to impede or enable different cultures to perceive the changing environmental challenges that confront us all as a human family. To pursue this work he co-founded The Climate Talks Project in 2001 along with Professor William Moomaw of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. This group has convened scholars, business leaders, NGO activists, journalists and concerned citizens to discuss effective means of mobilizing civil society to respond to the evolving global climate crisis.

Dr. Weiskel currently teaches online courses on global climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice in the Sustainability program through Harvard's Extension School. These courses focus upon the ideological and conceptual barriers to transforming our current industrial culture based upon metaphors of continuous consumption and perpetual growth into new cultural forms based instead upon metaphors of stability, justice and global sustainability.

From 2008 through 2013 Dr. Weiskel taught an annual "Global Climate Update" course for graduate students and public health officials at The Cyprus International Institute (CII) for the Environment and Public Health as part of an advanced degree program established by the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) in cooperation with the Harvard School of Public Health.

Inspired by the life-long example of Bill Coffin and the impressive achievements of fellow classmate, Daniel Yergin (Yale, '68), who's Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) has enabled his clients and the wider world to understand energy issues over the last quarter century, Weiskel convened the Cambridge Climate Research Associates (CCRA).   In addition, Dr. Weiskel founded Food-Matters.TV and maintains the online weblog Transition-Studies providing over 28,000 links to news stories, documents, movies and current information to students, fellow faculty and concerned citizens working to live sustainably on our finite planet.

Through these organizations Dr. Weiskel consults with individuals, groups and institutions to create on site and online training programs for schools, universities, corporations, municipalities, and national governments. The goal is to assist these organizations in analyzing the climate impact of global carbon consumption and help them envision the necessary transitions that must now be undertaken to enable the human community to move to a post carbon-fueled world.