Young Reporter Hedydd on 'eco-anxiety' and the Into Film Festival

07 Nov 2019 BY Hedydd

5 mins
Rhys Ifans Cinema Event
Rhys Ifans Cinema Event

Read this article in Welsh/Darllen yn Gymraeg

Following on from the huge success of the Into Film Festival launch yesterday (6 November) - which saw 10,000 young people from across the UK come together to watch and discuss environmental documentary 2040 Young Reporter Hedydd delves into his personal experience of trying to be environmentally responsible, what hopeful films like 2040 offer for young people and the specific ways that the Welsh government should be embracing sustainability. Read Hedydd's account below.

We are all acutely aware of the climate emergency facing us as a planet. At times, it can feel daunting, particularly for us young people, as we're the ones that will find ourselves in the eye of the storm, later down the track. 

As a 16-year-old, who has recently left school to start an apprenticeship with the theatre company Frân Wen, I can see the obstacles stretching out in front of me, if I'm to lead an environmentally responsible life. And I certainly want to do just that. For example, I've been a life-long vegetarian but have been switching back and forth to a vegan diet for the past two years, partly because of the impact of dairy farming on carbon dioxide levels. 

But living in Dyffryn Nantlle, and the lack of a decent public transport system, does make it feel that it's almost impossible not to be accused of hypocrisy. For example, when I'm old enough I want to learn to drive because that's the only way I'll be able to live independently, stop relying on my parents as taxi drivers and get the career I want. Cars are something of a necessity in rural Wales, but owning a car as they are right now is definitely not how I'm going to save the planet. 

So even the very simple ambition of learning to drive a car is now fraught with problems and is, frankly, guilt inducing. This wasn't the case when my parents learnt to drive, which wasn't that long ago.

This is why children and young people across the globe are in the grips of what experts call ‘youth eco-anxiety'. We're striking and marching because we want action, but also because we're terrified of the future.

As we approach the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November, I think it's useful for key decision makers to remember that the way we talk about climate change infact now known as the climate emergency or climate crisis can negatively impact on the mental health and well-being of young people. 

So how do you motivate change without frightening us all into a blind panic? I think the education charity Into Film has struck a great balance today, at the launch of its 7th Into Film Festival, in Cardiff today, and taking place until 22 November across the whole of Wales.

It gave an exclusive peek at something a little more upbeat, namely the climate change documentary 2040. An innovative documentary by award-winning Australian director Damon Gameau, showcasing his search for new approaches and solutions to global warming for the sake of his young daughter's future.

Reviewers say it is first film aimed at younger audiences that offers a hopeful response to ‘youth eco-anxiety'. It looks to the two decades ahead, where it has been possible to galvanise a global movement to invest in regenerative solutions that improve the wellbeing of the planet using community energy schemes, seaweed as a crop and an accelerated public transport sytem. Its made for a refreshing change and made me feel me feel like I could make a difference that I could contribute in combating climate change. 

Shown simultaneoulsy in 40 venues ahead of the film's UK release, it played in Wales at Torch Theatre in Pembrokeshire, Galeri in Gwynedd, Vue Swansea and Cineworld Cardiff, and showcased the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet, if we rapidly shifted them into the mainstream. 

As a result, children and young people across the UK have created their vision for a sustainable future, as part of the #WhatsYour2040Campaign. Pupils from Barry's Cadoxton Primary School are to meet a cross-party group of politicians on the steps of the Senedd this afternoon, explaining their ideas for a greener and more sustainable Wales. 

For me, the priority is for the Welsh Government to invest more in accessible public transport, for both urban and rural areas, and making it so cost-effective and efficient that cars would become burdensome and old fashioned. I want them to raise taxes to make sure this happens. It's possibe to grow the economy while simultaneously fighting the climate emergency and we already have the innovation to do it. 

The Into Film Festival is the world's largest youth film festival in the world, and helps educators bring learning to life for 5-19 year-olds across the UK by inspiring young people to watch, understand and make film in new and creative ways. There are thousands of screenings, across hundreds of venues taking place across the UK throughout November - and many still have free tickets available!

Rydyn ni oll yn hynod ymwybodol o'r argyfwng hinsawdd sy'n ein hwynebu fel planed. Ar adegau, gall ein digalonni, yn arbennig i ni bobl ifanc, am mai ni fydd y rhai fydd yn llygad y storm mewn rhai blynyddoedd. 

Fel rhywun 16 oed a adawodd yr ysgol yn ddiweddar i gychwyn ar brentisiaeth gyda chwmni theatr Frân Wen, mi fedra i weld y rhwystrau hyn yn ymestyn allan o fy mlaen, os ydw i am fyw bywyd amgylcheddol gyfrifol. A dwi'n sicr o fod eisiau gwneud hynny. Er enghraifft, bum yn llysieuwr gydol fy oes ond bum yn troi'n ôl ac ymlaen at ddiet figan dros y ddwy flynedd ddiwethaf, yn rhannol oherwydd effaith ffermio llaeth ar lefelau carbon deuocsid. 

Ond mae byw yn Nyffryn Nantlle, a'r diffyg system trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus foddhaol, yn golygu mai bron yn amhosib yw peidio â chael eich cyhuddo o ragrith. Er enghraifft, pan fydda i'n ddigon hen, dwi eisiau dysgu gyrru oherwydd dyna'r unig ffordd y medra i fyw'n annibynnol, a pheidio â dibynnu ar fy rhieni i fod yn yrwyr tacsi a chael yr yrfa dwi eisiau ei chael. Mae ceir yn dipyn o anghenraid yng nghefn gwlad Cymru, ond yn sicr nid drwy fod yn berchen ar gar fel ag y maen nhw rŵan yw'r ffordd dwi am achub y blaned. 

Felly mae hyd yn oed yr uchelgais syml iawn o ddysgu gyrru car bellach yn llawn o broblemau ac, i fod yn onest, yn peri euogrwydd. Nid dyma'r sefyllfa pan oedd fy rhieni'n dysgu gyrru, heb fod lawer iawn yn ôl. 

Dyma pam fod plant a phobl ifanc ledled y byd yn dioddef o'r hyn mae arbenigwyr yn ei alw'n ‘eco-orbryder ieuenctid'. Rydyn ni'n streicio a gorymdeithio am ein bod ni eisiau gweithredu, ond hefyd am fod y dyfodol yn peri dychryn go iawn i ni. 

Wrth i ni agosáu at 30 mlwyddiant Confensiwn y Cenhedloedd Unedig ar Hawliau'r Plentyn ar 20 Tachwedd, credaf ei bod yn ddefnyddiol i'r bobl sy'n gwneud penderfyniadau allweddol gofio y gall y ffordd y siaradwn am newid hinsawdd sydd bellach yn cael ei alw'n argyfwng hinsawdd effeithio'n negyddol ar iechyd meddwl a lles pobl ifanc. 

Felly sut mae ysgogi newid heb ein dychryn oll i banig llwyr? Credaf fod yr elusen addysg Into Film wedi dod o hyd i gydbwysedd gwych heddiw, wrth iddi lansio 7fed Gŵyl Into Film yng Nghaerdydd, gŵyl a gaiff ei chynnal hyd at 22 Tachwedd ledled Cymru gyfan.

Mae'n rhoi golwg unigryw ar rywbeth ychydig yn fwy calonogol, sef y ffilm ddogfen ar newid hinsawdd, 2040. Dyma ffilm ddogfen arloesol gan y cyfarwyddwr llwyddiannus o Awstralia, Damon Gameau, sy'n dangos ei ymgais i ddod o hyd i ddulliau ac atebion newydd i gynhesu byd eang er budd dyfodol ei ferch ifanc.

Meddai'r adolygwyr mai dyma'r ffilm gyntaf i gael ei hanelu at gynulleidfaoedd iau sy'n cynnig ymateb gobeithiol i ‘eco-orbryder ieuenctid'. Mae'n troi ein golygon at y ddau ddegawd sydd i ddod, lle y bu'n bosibl symbylu mudiad byd-eang i fuddsoddi mewn atebion atgynhyrchiol sy'n gwella lles y ddaear gan ddefnyddio cynlluniau ynni cymunedol, gwymon fel cnwd a system drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus arloesol. Dyma newidiaeth braf, a gwnaeth i mi deimlo y gallwn i wneud gwahaniaeth y gallwn i gyfrannu at frwydro yn erbyn newid hinsawdd. 

Cyn i'r ffilm gael ei rhyddhau ym Mhrydain, cafodd ei dangos yr un pryd mewn 40 o leoedd, gan gynnwys Theatr y Torch yn Sir Benfro, Galeri yng Ngwynedd, Vue Abertawe a Cineworld Caerdydd, a dangosai'r atebion gorau sydd eisoes ar gael ar ein cyfer i wella ein planed, os awn ati i'w troi ar unwaith yn ddulliau prif-ffrwd. 

O ganlyniad, mae plant a phobl ifanc ledled Prydain wedi creu eu gweledigaeth o ddyfodol cynaliadwy, fel rhan o ymgyrch #WhatsYour2040Campaign. Bydd disgyblion o Ysgol Gynradd Tregatwg yn y Barri yn cwrdd â grŵp trawsbleidiol o wleidyddion ar risiau'r Senedd y prynhawn yma, i esbonio eu syniadau am Gymru sy'n fwy gwyrdd a chynaliadwy. 

I mi, y flaenoriaeth yw i Lywodraeth Cymru fuddsoddi mwy mewn trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus hygyrch, ar gyfer ardaloedd trefol a gwledig, a'i gwneud mor gost-effeithiol fel y câi geir eu hystyried yn fwrn ac yn hen ffasiwn. Rydw i eisiau iddyn nhw godi trethu i wneud yn siŵr bod hyn yn digwydd. Mae'n bosibl tyfu'r economi ac ymladd yr argyfwng hinsawdd yr un pryd ac mae eisoes gennym ni'r arloesedd i wneud hynny. 

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Hedydd, Young Reporter

Hedydd (16) comes from a Welsh-speaking area of North Wales and has recently left school to start an apprenticeship with the theatre company Frân Wen. Hedydd is a young reporter for Into Film Cymru and has interviewed the likes of actor Rhys Ifans on the red carpet. 

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