Jeez Drew you're tough. I do think there is some trickle down effect on a local level from individuals like us 'hobbyists'. For example my kids are much more aware of ocean conservation issues as a result of my interest, which results directly from my activities as a diver and photographer. I'm pretty certain this is what has prompted my daughter to pursue marine biology at college.
That reason went out the door with Getty, Alamy and MS going nuts on stock images. If every picture taken was of a new species or at least a new stage of development of an established species, I'd buy that. Otherwise, it's just another justification to get what we want
It's no different from the concept of hikers being concerned about conservation, or even hunters for that matter. (Though I still struggle with that argument).
Now whether we make up for our carbon footprint in getting to these exotic places or not is another matter.
I've said it before, probably the only folks who are beyond reproach are folks like the Aborigines or the Amish, who decline modern amenities and technology even when it's available to them.