Lenny Bernstein 1941-2016
Asheville - Lenny Bernstein died on Sunday September 25, 2016, ending an enthusiastic, active, and caring life. He was committed to the environment and committed to hiking, melding these two lives seamlessly.
With a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1969, Lenny spent the next twenty years as a researcher for Exxon. He worked, in part, to determine the effects of gasoline quality on air pollution. When he moved to Mobil in 1989, he quickly became the corporate expert on climate change. Though working for an oil company, he understood that human-induced climate change was a threat with severe impacts to people. In 1995, Lenny began attending UN meetings devoted first to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, then to its ratification and implementation.
He was a member of the writing team that produced the overall summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s Fourth Assessment's Synthesis Report. In 2007, the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, and Lenny was recognized for contributing to this award. No, he didn't "win" the Nobel Prize but he, along with his fellow scientists and engineers, treasure the certificate from the King of Norway.
Lenny Bernstein discovered the pleasures and challenges of hiking in his twenties and hiked his first mile on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in 1974. He's been hiking, maintaining and supporting the A.T. ever since. Lenny and his wife Danny (Danielle) are "A.T. end-to enders" - completing the 2,185-mile trail in 1998. He also walked all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, becoming a Smokies 900M. He was very active in Carolina Mountain Club, serving twice as president. The club recognized his service by granting him its highest club honor--Honorary Life Membership.
His wife, Danny (Danielle), son, Neil, daughter-in-law Yi-Ting Wang, and granddaughters, Hannah and Isabelle, survive him and will miss him a great deal.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807 or Carolina Mountain Club PO Box 68, Asheville, NC 28802.
Condolences can be made to the family at www.ashevilleareaalternative.com