Weibo Ludwig Died as He Lived-On His Own Terms

Weibo Ludwig died Monday on his Trickle Creek Alberta Commune after a battle with esophageal cancer surrounded by loved ones at peace with his life and his God. Today's news stories all talk about his murky legacy where some will remember him as an eco-warrior, some as a terrorist. The writer of these lines remember him as an honest man, a man who lived the life he believed in, a non-materialist, a non-hypocrite living in an era of almost universal hypocrisy.

Weibo was spurred to action by growing sour gas development around his commune. He claimed the wells were poisoning his family and farm. In 2002 Andrew Nikiforuk, a journalist and author of "Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig's War Against Big Oil.'' that brought Weibo's story to the broader public's attention.  That same year the Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival produced a play titled "An Eye for an Eye" about Weibo's anti-big oil campaign. In 2004 there was a made-for-TV movie and last year saw the premiere of a documentary called "Wiebo's War" by Toronto filmmaker David York.

Weibo espoused a philosophy of self reliance, of withdrawal from the materialist world and of moral integrity. Life was good for Weibo and his family, 11 children and 23 grandchildren, on the 185 hectares of land at Trickle Creek. The children were home-schooled and power was generated by windmill. The family grew their own vegetables and raised goats, sheep, cows and chickens. Once in awhile Weibo worked off the commune as a carpenter to earn a few dollars to keep the place going. Like all of us, Weibo did what needed doing for his family.

Weibo died as he lived, on his own terms. Just over a month ago The Mud Report did a piece on Weibo's last fight, his fight against cancer and his belief in crossing over to the other side after death. Weibo refused radiation therapy saying it would not increase his quality time on earth but only extend the time of his body's suffering. He said he'd rather go sooner, me too. Many would say his belief in an afterlife allowed him to show strength to the end and gave his family comfort. And maybe they're right, those are a couple of religions long suits. Mr Mud's not a believer, but if Weibo's right about crossing over the river maybe we'll meet one day on the other side.