Why climate change deniers are running out of rope

This is actually the title of an article in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/17/climate-science-deniers-environment-warning

It is a mashup of “running out of time” (to no longer have any time left to finish an activity) and, based on the context,  I believe “on the ropes” (close to defeat).  “At the end of (one’s) rope” (completely worn out) might also be in the mix as both idioms refer to the end of an activity.  A big thanks to John Kooser who spotted this one in plain sight.