The Chinese auto industry is booming, as you are surely aware by now. While many are concerned with the emissions of those vehicles, as they should be, there are myriads of other related problems to worry about. One problem which is cropping up relates to tire production, which, of course, requires rubber.
CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, which is Australia's national science agency, released a report that speaks quite in favor of biodiesel but raises the alarm on the raw materials used for production. Something someone at OECD (although not OECD itself) said as well.
The price of palm oil, which has gained favour over the last few years as a cheap biodiesel feedstock, is soaring. Another relatively new use of palm oil is as a trans-fat substitute for use in processed food. But the oil palm, grown mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia, is not well liked - it has been blamed for rainforest destruction, the death of orang-utans, air pollution and exploitation of workers.