Minnesota grandmas get naked to draw attention to climate change


Minneapolis grandmas bare all -- or most -- near Powderhorn Lake to bring attention to climate change, which has been delivering 60-degree days to our not-very-frozen tundra.

Patty Gille grew up a Jersey girl. Higher ed would bring the young woman to the Twin Cities.

Gille recalls the days of yore, slogging across the Macalester College plaza and freezing her tush off. Back then, the art and French major feared Minnesota winters. 

"I remember turning in a final paper once and it was snowing," says Gille. "In May!"

Decades later, Gille, who's lived in the area since 1974, once again fears winter. But for a different reason: climate change.   

"I'd say over the past couple years, I'd really noticed how much our winters have changed," she says. "It's terrible, although it is pleasant because it's nice and warm, but it's creepy because it's not right.

"I do ice sculpture. I do it as sort of a way to embrace the season. You know, I can't even do ice sculpture anymore."


During one of the recent 60 degree days, Gille and about a dozen friends decided they needed to remind everyone about our collective dire situation. The event was the brainchild of Minneapolis resident Polly Kellogg.

They made signs and went to Powderhorn Lake. "Now you've pissed off grandma," read Gille's. "Climate change deniers skate on thin ice," another said. Some of the women donned swimsuits. Others disrobed. Some more so than others.

Gille was one of those who went topless for the cause.

"Here we are having the warmest February days ever locally at the same time nationally we're moving in the opposite direction as to the things we can do about global warming," she says. "We had the [photo] shoot to let everyone know we're not okay with it and neither should they." 


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