Lenny Bernstein earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1969. He spent the next twenty years working for Exxon as a researcher and research manager in the area of petroleum product formulation.
In 1989, Lenny took a position with Mobil Corporation’s Corporate Environmental, Health, and Safety Department, where he soon became the corporate expert on climate change. Though working for an oil company, he quickly realized that human-induced climate change was threat and that its impacts could be severe. His attempts to convince others in industry not to contest climate science were documented in an April 2009 New York Times article.
In 1995, Lenny began attending UN meetings devoted first to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, then to its ratification and implementation. He attended every such meeting through the end of 2007.
Lenny left Mobil in 1999 and set up L.S. Bernstein & Associates, a climate change consulting company. As a consultant, he was an author on the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, published in 2001, and a chapter editor on the Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007. He was also a member of the writing team that produced the Fourth Assessment’s Synthesis Report, an overall summary of the IPCC’s conclusions. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, and Lenny was recognized for contributing to that award. In 2009, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Florida’s School of Engineering, where he had gotten his Bachelor’s Degree.
Lenny closed his business in 2008, and since then has given talks and taught classes on climate change. He continues to actively follow scientific and political developments on this critical issue.