ness and influencing attitudes toward consumption, as demonstrated by Al Gore and his documentary film An Inconvenient Truth. To this end, we should exploit the media to the fullest possible extent. Although more environmentally benign technologies will also help, the battle will not be won without a transformative collective decision by consumers that less can be more. For example, although an 80% shift from beef and pork to farmed fish and poultry could enable displacement of up to 22% of U.S. gasoline consumption with low-impact, high-diversity biofuel (D. Tilman, personal communication), such a shift will not happen without hundreds of millions of conscious decisions that a sustainable economy is worth more than the taste of bacon cheeseburgers.
As many conservation biologists have noted, formally protected areas are not realizing their full potential, being too few, too small, too far apart, too expensive to establish and maintain, and/or too poorly administered (Noss and Cooperrider, 1994; Kareiva, 2006). These pitfalls notwithstanding, nature parks and other conservation areas are central to the future of biodiversity (Terborgh and van Schaik, 2002).
The outstanding national parks of North America and Australia demonstrate that well-fed voter/taxpayers, whatever their environmental shortcomings, are at least willing and able to support biological preserves; people in poorer countries, the argument goes, cannot necessarily afford that luxury. Of the various forms of revenue used to support protected areas in poor countries, conservation trust funds—specifically, endowment funds intended to last in perpetuity—are the most promising. Unlike taxes, user fees, and debt swaps, endowments provide sustained funding and are relatively resilient to political whims and fluctuations in the demand for ecotourism (Spergel, 2002). As of 2000, conservation trust funds had been established in more than 40 countries, and nine developing nations boasted endowments of US$10 million or more (Spergel, 2002).
Spergel (2002) argues that conservation trust funds should be additional to existing government funding, but this may not always be the case. Consider the following initiative being considered in Costa Rica. It is called Paz Con la Naturaleza—Peace with Nature—and it aims, among other things, to generate $500 million to endow the country’s entire conserved-area system. Crucially, this would relieve Costa Rican taxpayers of the burden of financing conservation. Under the plan, $100 million would be spent to consolidate the existing national park system—25% of the country—into 11 large conservation areas (Dalton, 2006; D. H. Janzen, personal communication). The remaining $400 million would be invested outside the country in a university-like endowment; $20 million of annual