Economist, this may be the way of the future. Dandelions are being modified to produce rubber in commercial quantities. Apparently it will come from their roots, ideally when they've been developed to the size of carrots. Just think, my car tyres will come from the same place my coffee substitute does (which I don't drink enough of, mumble mumble, excuses, excuses...aah coffee! caffeine!).
It does seriously set me wondering what other possibilities were ignored during an era of cheap and convenient oil unsullied by worries of environmental damage. The world would have been so different without oil and its products. Would we have even managed to feed ourselves (not that we do, more shame to us) without the synthetic oil-derived fertilisers?