The article analyzes the correspondence between actually occurring physical and chemical processes and the concept of the greenhouse effect. The absorption of the solar radiation by the gases existing in the Earth atmosphere has been examined. It was demonstrated that, despite the absorption of radiation from the Earth’s surface in the middle and long-wave infrared (IR) regions, there is a strong absorption of the overtones and combined frequencies of water vapor in the solar radiation (visible and near IR regions), i.e. the transmittance bandwidth of ‘the glass greenhouse’. Thus, the Earth atmosphere does not really function as a greenhouse, and the terms ‘greenhouse effect’ and ‘greenhouse gases’ lost their original meaning and have remained symbolical.