Steven Goddard’s (aka Tony Heller’s) Venusian Delusions

Heller proves it doesn't take an astrophysicist to figure out why Venus is hot.
Heller proves it doesn’t take an astrophysicist to figure out why Venus is hot.
For those who aren’t regular readers of this award-winning* blog dedicated to documenting my batshit crazy climate denialism, let’s get you caught up on my track record of failures covered by this outstanding publication to date:

  • I insinuated that scientists at NSIDC faked data. Despite others who made it clear to me that I was wrong, I insisted I was right. Finally, I ended up having to retract my accusation. FAIL!
  • I created a completely bogus graphic on my “Real Science” blog. After it was pointed out to me that my graphic was clearly wrong, I insisted I was right and spewed all kinds of childish invective against the commentor that identified the error. When I finally came to my senses and realized how amateurish my mistake was, I didn’t even offer an apology. FAIL!
  • I made the preposterous claim that CO2 literally freezes out of the air in Antarctica. Despite all my denier buddies pointing out how stupid this was, I still insist I’m right to this day. FAIL!
  • I have such a long history of getting basic science wrong and being a stubborn dick when presented with information that refutes my nutty claims, famous
    client denier Anthony Watts had to kick me off his blog. FAIL!

OK, I think you see the pattern here. So let us now build upon my stunning achievements in scientific buffoonery:

Steve Goddard: a late bloomer to  the rarefied world of scientific genius.
Steve Goddard: a late bloomer to the rarefied world of scientific genius.
This one occurred before Anthony Watts wised up to my incompetence, back when I was still writing for his blog, “Watt’s Up With That.” In one of my posts there there, I made an extraordinary claim that, if correct, would overturn a significant body of work established by many famous scientists, built over the course of 200 years, for calculating the surface temperature on a celestial body. In fact, my new method for determining surface temperatures is so revolutionary I’d be a strong contender for a Nobel Prize for pioneering a major contribution to planetary science if I was right. Imagine that! All this from a beat up looking guy in his late 50s who never had a published scientific paper in his life. What a great story this will make for the science books that will be written about me!

So what is my breakthrough idea? Well, it’s that all you need to determine the temperature on the surface of a planet is the ideal gas law. Yup, that’s right, it’s that simple! In fact, you probably learned about this law in high school or maybe even junior high: PV=nRT.

You can save yourself the trouble factoring in the incoming solar flux into the equation. Doesn’t matter. And don’t worry about the albedo effect or absorption of infrared light by the atmosphere. The Stefan–Boltzmann law? That’s for suckers! With my theory you can ditch everything you thought you knew about atmospheric physics because it’s all moot. The truth is that none of the math used by the brainiacs practicing astrophysics comes close to explaining what the temperature on a planet with an atmosphere will be as well as the good ol’ ideal gas law: simply use the pressure, volume, size of the atmosphere and the gas constant to solve for temperature on the surface of the planet.

You are probably eager to know how I stumbled upon this amazing discovery. Well, the truth is I lifted the core of the idea, without attribution, from a fellow named Hans Jelbring who published this 2003 paper in the premiere journal for climate deniers, Energy and Environment. I’m sure you must have heard of it. It’s the same journal that published a paper by Oliver Manuel that proved that the sun is not made out of hydrogen and helium like we long thought and that it’s actually made out of iron.

Anyway, to summarize Jelbring’s work, it posits that the “greenhouse effect” is not caused by the blocking of infrared radiation by the atmosphere but that it is instead a direct function of the mass of the atmosphere. It sounds hard to swallow at first, I know. But the paper was peer reviewed. In the acknowledgement section of his paper, Jelbring praised “two brave anonymous peer reviewers making the publication a fact.” I’m sure you can imagine the bravery it must have taken to review this groundbreaking work anonymously!

Just like Jelbring, I explain my theory by applying the ideal gas law to what we know about the conditions and nature of the atmosphere on Venus. The crux of the idea is simple: Venus is not hot because its atmosphere, which is 95% carbon dioxide, is blocking infrared radiation emitted from the surface of the planet. This greenhouse effect doesn’t raise the temperature very much at all. No, the real reason it’s so hot on Venus is because it has a thick, massive atmosphere which means there is high pressure at the surface and the ideal gas law says that when a gas is under high pressure, it’s hot. It’s so simple you can fit the entire idea into a single tweet:

I’ll admit I’m a bit baffled why it took me to figure this out. Why didn’t astrophysicists who think about these problems for a living think about applying the ideal gas law to the atmosphere of planets to determine surface temperature? I guess sometimes these nerd scientists try to make things too complicated. Allow me to give you an example of how they do that.

As I explain here, we know that Mars and Venus both have atmospheres that are 95% carbon dioxide. And yet, one planet is cold (Mars) and the other is very hot (Venus). If climate scientists were right about their claims that CO2 causes global warming, how could it be that Mars isn’t as hot as Venus if it’s 95% CO2, too?

Well, all you have to do is apply the ideal gas law to understand why. You see, Mars has a very thin atmosphere so there’s not a lot of pressure on the surface so it’s cold. Venus, on the other hand, has a very thick atmosphere so it’s hot. As you can plainly see, the ideal gas law explains the reason for the difference in temperature between the planets quite nicely. But, for whatever reason, the astrophysicists try to complicate things with some crazy bullshit about something they call “optical depth” of the atmosphere. For years now, they’ve been making the bizarre claim that a thicker blanket of CO2 would block more infrared radiation than a thin one. I don’t even bother trying to refute that nonsense. It’s a waste of time. If you’re interested, someone tries to explain it here. But if you ask me, ideas like “optical depth” are just distractions and complicate matters unnecessarily. These ideas are nothing I ever ran across in high school. The ideal gas law has the advantage of being much easier to wrap your head around.

As you might expect, I’ve received quite a lot of push back from scientists on my idea. I’m sure you can imagine how my proving the global warming alarmists wrong made them go completely apeshit. Just look at them flail at me with big long equations and complicated, point by point refutations and the same old tired theories. My idea is so radical, even some prominent climate change skeptics like Dr. Roy Spencer are trying to punch holes in my theory.

So unfortunately, after four years of trying to explain my theory—even after proving once and for all that greenhouse gases can’t possibly account for surface temperatures—it doesn’t seem to be getting any traction. Apparently, not only climate scientists have been brainwashed but planetary scientists as well. It’s a travesty to see what’s being done to science these days. It seems the entire scientific community has been utterly corrupted by politics and President Obama’s insatiable appetite for power. Even after several blog posts and dozens of tweets on this topic, I’ve had to throw in the towel and recently concluded that everyone is just too stupid and the world is not yet ready to receive my scientific revelations. I mean, what else do they expect me to do? Submit a paper to a peer reviewed journal or some crazy bullshit like that? I’m a FUCKING genius. I’m Tony FUCKING Heller for chrissakes. Why can’t they see I’m right? Fucking MORONS!

Sagan: Too stoned to figure out what was so obvious to Tony Heller.
Sagan: Too stoned to figure out what was so obvious to Tony Heller.
Oh, sorry. Ahem. Anger management issues. Working on that.

So what’s that I hear you thinking? You have doubts about my theory, too? You think this is just another example of my incompetence and further evidence of my sociopathy?

Well, you know what? Even I have to admit you just might have something there. Either that or, like Carl Sagan, your head is clouded over with pot smoke:

* Recipient of the very first annual Goddard Prize in Skepticism, 2014.

5 thoughts on “Steven Goddard’s (aka Tony Heller’s) Venusian Delusions

  1. […] people realize this is my article and I am my own citation! I basically pioneered the idea that temperatures on Venus are hot not because of greenhouse gases but because of high pressure. My theory hasn’t even been published in a scientific journal yet and they expect a citation? […]


  2. Basic undergraduate computations of radiative balance show Venus’s surface temperature , 225% that of the temperature of a gray ( flat spectrum ) ball in its orbit CANNOT , by an order of magnitude , be explained by the energy it receives from the Sun . James Hansen’s claim that is is a risible falsehood . See .

    Neither can it be explained as a property of pressure by any equations I know .

    It must have internal , ie , geothermal , heating .


    • Bob, thanks for your great work on this. I hope you will consider getting your pioneering work published in a peer-reviewed journal. I looked it over for a few minutes and it’s clear other reputable scientists need to hear about your research. As much as other world renowned climate scientists might learn by reading the comments on this site, I don’t you’ll reach them here.

      Good luck and keep up the fight! We will prevail!


  3. So Tony / Steve – you start with a cylinder of air at 300K (=27°C) and you slowly compress it with a piston to half the volume. Is it now double the temperature, namely 600K = 327°C? Do your car tires stay hot in the garage overnight, or do they cool to ambient temperature, even though the pressure is greater than ambient pressure? How does the pressure “know” to increase and warm the surface each morning even under extensive thick cloud cover? For the correct physics, be one of over 95,000 to visit my websites and blog with not one of them proving me wrong even for a reward of thousands offered at https:/


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