As we met in an old building downtown, Dan just came from speaking at the Occupy Vancouver tent site, outside the Art Gallery. I got his impressions of this world-wide movement.
We couldn't avoid re-telling one of the most famous moments in activism. In July 2008, Dan Glass became very attached to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. At Number 10 Downing Street to receive an award for aviation activism, Glass super-glued himself to the Prime Minister's sleeve, while he delivered a short talk on why expanding Heathrow airport was a monumental mistake.
In Scotland, Dan also played a little game of golf on the landing strip at Aberdeen airport. The Billionaire profiteer Donald Trump wanted to built a new golf course, and demanded a bigger airport to serve his rich clients. The Plane Stupid activists used golf balls each named after a place threatened by climate change. Why not, as the rich play games with out future?
The "defence of necessity" court case involved experts from all over the world, putting much of the airport madness into the records.
After years of innovative protests, Dan was invited to tour North America with Britain's John Stewart. It was the "Aviation Justice Tour".
The help was badly needed, as North America greens have not made the connections to health and climate change as Europe did. People under the flight paths in the U.S. and Canada are blamed for living there, instead of helped to clear the skies.
When Dan applied for a visa to enter the United States, he was met in Belfast by American FBI agent Eric Johnson. Although the FBI had obviously studied this protest movement, it failed to grasp the idea of simply calling Dan Glass up, instead of flying across the ocean to interview him.
Incongrously, the two went to the police Hummer for a chat. Naturally, the super-glue thing came up, with Johnson wondering if Dan intended to superglue himself to Obama! Catch the full interview for this frightening but amusing look at suppression of free speech in America.
Dan was refused entry.
Glass still spoke at several Aviation Justice events, including one in New York City against an EIGHTH runway at JFK Airport - appearing by Skype.
Dan managed to get into Canada. After speaking in Toronto and Vancouver (where a third runway jutting into a sensitive ocean ecosystem is planned) - Glass and the tour were headed to Alberta, to Tar Sands country.
That is appropriate, because tar sands oil is also sold to the U.S. government, who make military aviation fuel out of it.
We talk about civil rights and the environment. How ordinary citizens are followed, watched, and harassed simply for demanding clean air, and a safe climate. People are opposed by a conglomerate of giant corporations, the banks that fund them, and governments that always promote expansion. Even though peak oil lurks, waiting to take down unnecessary and wasteful energy use. Even though the economy and the climate are crashing. We must build, build, build - growth everlasting!
There was a stunning victory in the UK, when the new Cameron coalition government decided to stop the expansion of Heathrow airport's new runway in London. We talk about the techniques and forces which managed to beat back a giant industry expansion.
But now, as I describe in the Radio Ecoshock Show this week, the UK aviation industry is back "lobbying hard" for either a third runway at Heathrow (this never dies!) or a new runway at Stansted. Or, maybe a whole new airport on an island off the coast.
Bristol airport campaigners were just denied justice in the High Court.
Plans continue - to expand airports all over the UK.
Over 3,000 airports in the United States are working on expanding. The battles there have just begun.
Hear the full interview with Dan Glass.
And download the one hour Radio Ecoshock program "Plane Justice - Banned in America" (with new full length interviews with John Stewart, American activist Debi Wagner, and Dan Glass clips).