BARACK Obama continues to show a steely determination to fulfill the promises of change that he made during his electoral campaigns earlier this year. He won the presidency at almost the same moment that the first cracks began to show in fiscal edifice of the United States - cracks that have since widened and caused the collapse of many structures that had earlier seemed indestructible. Yet he has not allowed this totally new situation to distract him from the road he had previously said he would take. A particularly clear example of this single-minded determination was shown by his announcement on Monday of the team which will be responsible for energy and environmental issues - including global warming and climate change. In charge as energy secretary will be Steven Chu, a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist; his appointment and those of others in the team brought praise from concerned organisations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council whose president spoke of “individuals who will restore scientific integrity to the federal government, protect public health and defend our country's natural resources.” Last week, after a meeting with Al Gore, Mr Obama called the fight against global warming “a matter of urgency and national security”. Many of the measures needed in this fight will clash with economies called for to beat the recession but the President-elect shows no sign of reneging on his environmental commitments.


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