With more cars than ever on our roads, the dependence on fossil fuels to get about is greater than ever.
More cars than ever on our roads, 1.1 million and all bar a few depend on fossil fuels to get about.
Green Party leader Trevor Sargent believes that we are coming to an end to "an oil type society" and believes that we need to look to alternatives to fossil fuels.
The twentieth century was an oil century. The twenty-first century cannot be an oil century because the oil will not be there so it's important that we try to recognise that.
In California, ten per cent of vehicles will have to have zero emissions by 2003 and in Britain there is a mandate for the transition from petrol vehicle cars to zero emissions.
Alternatives include electric cars which can be recharged overnight from a domestic electricity supply. Another option is vegetable oil.
We’re all used to frying our chips with it but with a little work done on your engine you can convert your car to run on it.
John O’Mara from Eilish Oil performs such conversions to using vegetable oil to power your vehicles and explains how it works.
Once the engine has been converted, it’s capable of being run on any oil.
While the cost of the engine conversion is about £2,000, drivers will save money on fuel as vegetable oil is about 20 pence cheaper than petrol at the pump.
David Taylor of the Irish Energy Centre believes that it is in the business interests of both oil companies and car manufacturers to meet societal needs as they evolve.
Some governments are now providing financial incentives to switch to alternative sources of fuel. However, if the transition to alternative fuel options is left for too long, it may be too late.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 September 2000. The reporter is Anthony Murnane.