MELTDOWN -- World Without Ice

photo from MELTDOWN -- World Without Ice

MELTDOWN -- World Without Ice is a one-hour public television show featuring climate change issues in the heavily glaciated St. Elias Mountains of western Canada and southeast Alaska.

“Ninety-five percent of the glaciers in Alaska are retreating and thinning,” according to University of Alaska professor Dr. Eran Hood.

Dr. Garry Clarke, Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia, adds, “The majority of the glaciers, the normal ones that aren’t surging, they’re almost unanimous in their behavior, they’re losing ground, they’re losing mass, they’re getting thinner, they’re shrinking. If you look at the surging glaciers over a long period of time, they’re receding as well.”

Dr. Gwenn Flowers adds, “One of the things I love about studying glaciers is they don’t lie, they’re not political, right? They’re disappearing in some places. They’re losing mass. They’re just reflecting what’s happening with the climate so they’re very nice, honest - if not slightly delayed - indicators of what’s happening with the climate.”

A warming climate is not good news for the world’s glaciers. But the consequences are much more far reaching than the loss of massive fields of ice in remote locations few people will ever see. The potential for catastrophic impact on humans, wildlife and the natural world is profound. In addition to extreme storms, sea level rise and acute water shortages, the impact on the world's poor is already being felt. The reason is simple. Up to 75% of the world’s fresh water exists as glacial ice. Mountain glaciers are melting at such significant rates that water required for agricultural use and drinking is at risk in the Andes, Himalayas and Europe.

Writer/director Chip Duncan and his colleagues have spent more than six years in production on MELTDOWN -- World Without Ice. The project includes a feature length documentary and a 2-part series for the middle school and high school classroom.

The project includes glacial history, NASA satellite imagery and detailed graphics from JPL and Lawrence Livermore Labs as well as archival footage and still photos documenting the extreme changes in global ice during the past century. The producers also show the impact of extreme storms, accelerated drought conditions and sea level rise on the world's poorest communities.

“MELTDOWN -- World Without Ice offers a thoughtful, scientific approach to the study of glaciers and ice sheets and their impact on the planet,” says writer/director Chip Duncan. “I’ve been working around glaciers for more than two decades and have seen glacial decline first hand. I believe viewers of this documentary will get a better sense of what’s happening to glaciers today and the impact on the world's poor. The project also offers a hopeful approach that provides solid resources for viewers to pursue individual action regarding their own consumption of carbon-based fossil fuels.”


A QUEST FOR MEANING - Myth, Imagination & Faith in the Literature of J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis

The Duncan Entertainment Group is currently in production on a one-hour public television documentary tentatively titled A Quest for Meaning. The film explores myth, faith and the imaginative process in the work of authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Produced in association with Crouse Entertainment Group and Iowa Public Television, The Duncan Group is digging deeper into a single theme from its award-winning 2002 presentation of The Magic Never Ends - The Life & Work of C.S. Lewis. In several of Lewis' classic works, the writer explores what he, Tolkien and others referred to as "the true myth."

As Oxford professors, Lewis and Tolkien enjoyed a close friendship. Both shared strong scholarly interest in mythology and both wrote popular fantasy and fiction now considered classic including Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. Like prominent British writers who preceded them including George MacDonald and GK Chesterton, Tolkien and Lewis believed that Christianity had many of the characteristics of classic mythology. The difference, they believed, was that Christianity also happened to be true.

A Quest for Meaning explores the central theme of "the true myth" with experts and scholars weighing in from various perspectives. The show follows in the tradition of both The Magic Never Ends and the PBS special The Question of God. It is our hope to enlighten and entertain viewers by discussing in detail the mythical and spiritual underpinnings in the writings of Tolkien and Lewis. The film includes enlightening interviews with scholars from various secular and non-secular perspectives including but not limited to Reza Aslan, Verlyn Flieger, Christopher Mitchell and Dr. John Polkinghorne.

A Quest for Meaning is being written and directed by Chip Duncan. Patricia Ostermick and Robert Huck are co-producers. Chip Duncan and David Crouse are the film's executive producers. Iowa Public Television ( is the flagship station for broadcast within the PBS system. The Duncan Entertainment Group worked previously with Iowa Public Television on its 2007 production of Prayer In America and the 2004 production of The Cost of Freedom -- Civil Liberties, Security and the USA PATRIOT ACT. The Duncan Group and IPTV recently completed production of Landslide -- A Portrait of President Herbert Hoover for a fall 2009 broadcast on PBS.