My impression was that coconut has the potential to be much more ecologically-friendly than palm oil, for the reason you mentioned. I think the reality is that the culture within the industries in question is toxically extractive in nature.
If there's more to it, I can't say, although if someone had an insight here, I would love to hear about it. If there's more to it than, say, monocrop deserts sprayed into lifelessness to produce a single, nutritionally inferior product, with a land-use model that chews up natural biodiversity and spits out toxic wasteland, I think it would be interesting to know, but superfluous to the argument at that point.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
And then we all jump out and yell "surprise! we got you this tiny ad!"