I heard a climatologist on a talk show saying that one of the widely known arguments used by climate scientists to exemplify what a runaway greenhouse effect could cause to Earth's temperature and climate (a comparison with Venus' atmosphere) is basically a farce.
He argued that Venus' high surface temperature (which is over 400ºC) is caused mainly by its high surface pressure (which is over 90x greater than Earth's) and that the so-called "greenhouse effect contribution" to this temperature was "negligible" or simply "non-existent". He mentioned the ideal gas law in order to "prove" his argument, saying that temperature grows proportionally with pressure (which, of course, is true for an ideal gas). And this pretty much settled his train of thought.
This made me wonder and I'm trying to come up with a reasoning that debunks his argument. At first, I thought one could not simply apply the ideal gas law to Venus' atmosphere, since the molar density at the surface is too high and that one should use more terms of the virial expansion to account for the behavior of the pressure near the surface. However, even if that is true, his argument remains undisputed, since the leading term of the expansion is still the "ideal gas" term.
Then I realized his oversight may have been the cause-effect relationship he tried to establish between pressure and temperature. As a matter of fact, an equation of state doesn't tell us anything about causality: it only states the relationship between different state variables that describe a system. This takes us back to my question: Is it the really the high pressure of Venus' at surface the agent responsible for its high surface temperature, or is it the other way around or maybe even a mix of the two?
To better clarify my thinking, imagine this: if we take Venus and place it out of the Solar system where its exposure to solar radiation would be negligible, I think we can agree that its temperature would decrease drastically. Now, I know most of its atmosphere would solidify in such conditions, but the thing is: would the pressure on the same layer of matter where the surface of the planet was previously remain the same? No. So, does this tells us that it is the temperature of the planet that determines its pressure?
On the other hand, I am also aware that the pressure at the surface is simply a function of how much matter (gas) there is above it (no clear connection with temperature here).
I've reached this crossroads and can't seem to establish any clear causality relationship between pressure and temperature. Am I going in the right direction or is it that I am just plain wrong and the climatologist correct when he made his assertion?