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Tree hugging fringe element? Meaning?

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Hi,
In a book I read the following paragraph but I did not understand it at all.
"As difficult as it is, ignoring these drivers of today’s business reality is even more unwise. Sure, a few remaining corporate titans still think that most environmental issues are over-blown creations of some Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging fringe element."
What does this mean?
"over-blown creations of some Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging fringe element."
Birkenstock wearing?
Tree hugging fringe element?

4 Answers
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Community Member

Extreme environmentalist. The kind that destroy heavy equipment to "stop" people from logging or other types of things they consider harmful to the environment.

0
Community Member

It means that caring for the environment is phoney.
Business interests like mining, urban sprawl and factory pollution usually destroy the environment.
Birkenstocks are supposed to be hippy shoes?
Tree-huggers is a derogatory term for environmentalists.

0
Community Member

Birkenstock is a German brand of sandals and other shoes, notable for their contoured cork and rubber footbeds, which conform somewhat to the shape of their wearers' feet. Representative products include the two-strap sandal, the Arizona, and the Boston clog. Birkenstock shoes are worn with or without socks.

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Community Member

Not only the meaning needs explaining, but also the syntax.
Just toss the book.

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