Remember the Siege of Gondor in Lord of The Rings, when the defenders fall back from one defensive ring to the next as the wild armies of orcs crash through?

Brian Micklethwait painstakingly looks at how the proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) came to add Immediate and Catastrophic to the acronym to give us ICAGW.

But now they are falling back in some disorder, yet ruthlessly trying to work out which position might be most tenable against the wild-eyed skeptic orcish hordes:

The Hockey Team, along with their most vocal fans, are now in this doomed position. But the CAGW camp as a whole is now deciding whether to back the Hockey Team or to cut them lose and concede the ground that the Hockey Team have so fraudulently occupied.

This Guardian leader says to me that the high command of the Grande Armée of CAGW is now attempting a retreat in good order to a position further back, which it thinks it can hold, rather than making a futile last stand now that would only destroy them all.

The CAGW camp, as they now wish to remain, losing the I but definitely keeping tight hold of the C, are now concluding that there is no future in defending the now utterly discredited Hockey Team, i.e. Mann and the East Anglians.

And although the IPCC gets no mention in this Guardian leader, other CAGW-ers are already saying, with similar reluctance but similar definiteness, that the now utterly discredited IPCC will also have to be cut loose from polite society, certainly in its now utterly discredited form, as crafted during the last decade or so by the now utterly discredited Rajendra Pachauri…

Actually, the debate concerns not only that, but whether, if CO2 does indeed cause warming, that warming is caused to any great extent by humans, and above all whether, anthropogenic or not, this warming will at some future date turn catastrophic.

To put it acronymically, the CAGW camp will still be fighting over all of those remaining initials. It’s not just a matter of whether CO2 is causing the W. This is the terrain of the next big battle.

At what point do the skeptics get to behead warmists and catapult the heads back over the ramparts to terrify those still inside the crumbling castle?