It is nice when people know what is right and wrong, black, or white, to do or not to do! Unfortunately, there are lots of shades of grey. It's a great pity that the real world we live in is not, yes or no, up or down, right or left like that. It would be so much easier if it was, black or white right or wrong, without any intermediate spaces or opinions – wouldn't it?

Of course, the thing is, even God compromises and accommodates that which He does not want to happen. I'm so glad He does, aren't you?

So, “what brought this on?” you ask.  Well, I have seen many things on Facebook about electric cars. Mostly, it’s all about how they don't work, are too expensive, and they exploit children and therefore we shouldn't buy them, and on top of all that, they won't get you where you need to go.

Of course, I am missing out that most of the writers have never driven one, never been in one, and, if we are honest, know nothing about them - but hey! that never stopped our prejudices did it.

But for me, it does throw up the problem of child exploitation, and yes, I have thought about it, and yes, I have driven Electric cars for almost ten years if you include the original hybrid cars. I believe doing so is better for the environment. For me, I think the last ten years has saved me around £11,000 in running costs from running my previous petrol car. That does not include the free parking, the (sometimes) free electricity, the low cost of tax and the government perks as well as the free driving in Central London, (i.e., not paying the congestion tax.)

However, we cannot ignore the child exploitation that is utilised to get the material for the battery. However, if we are going to think about exploitation for the construction of car batteries, shouldn't we also think about the exploitation in other areas of both children and working adults too?  The exploitation of workers in clothing factories, exploitation of children making footballs, exploitation of the environment and local people via oil pipelines and the pollution of food sources in coastal areas. Wasn't there a whole load of innocent working people killed in the Rana Plaza building collapse?

I do listen to the people trying to represent such situations. However, the grey area is that the people who are being exploited tell us to not stop buying the goods, because if we do, they do not have any work at all.  So, the result of or black and white moralistic cry is starvation.  Sometimes in some countries, the only working person in the family is a child.  Is that right? Of course not! However, the grey area is that there are choices. Either, we stop buying such things, creating even worse social and financial situations for those families, or we buy making loads of noise to those in power to change the working conditions in the relevant countries, stop children from working and employ adults. The end-product of that change will mean that our clothes, batteries, food, and the oil will become more expensive, maybe it should be.

As a follower of Jesus, I am sure that we have an international responsibility to prophesy to power. To call out the misuse and injustice towards children and working people We need to seek and pull down the Kingdom to our time-space world, handfuls of Kingdom justice, righteousness, equality, and wholeness. Let us make a noise. We can do something - doing nothing is not an answer, but neither is not buying.  Sadly, there is no black or white - just lots of different greys.

Adrian Hawkes

7thAugust 2021

W. 572

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