Representatives of 11 major world religions pledged this week to work together to help combat climate change, deforestation, and other environmental ills. At a first-of-its-kind conference in Nepal organized by the World Wildlife Fund, leaders representing Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims, among other religious groups, highlighted the environmental teachings of their faiths. One conference attendee, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, has earned the nickname the Green Patriarch in part because he has declared that pollution is a sin. Pope John Paul II didn’t make it to the gathering in Nepal, but he did urge last week that rigorous controls be imposed on biotechnology to avert possible “disaster for the health of man and the future of the earth.”