The creation and rise of the environmental beat in journalism since 1960 has coincided with the increased public and government interest in the environment. Beginning in the 1960s, society determined that it could no longer accept the environmental harm that in the past had been an accepted cost with an industrialized world. Journalists responded with such stories as how automobile exhaust was choking the air of cities and describing water pollution so foul that a river could catch fire. As the beat matured, so did the reporting, and journalists needed to delve into increasingly complicated issues such as whether chemicals were threatening human health and whether the world's temperature was rising. While the number of reporters grew over the years it has fluctuated with the public's varying degree of interest in environmental news. By the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, rising fuel prices and interest in ...