During the hot, dry summer of 1988, nearly every newspaper, magazine, and television and radio station in the United States discussed the hot weather and its possible connection with the "greenhouse effect." This public discussion was needed to alert many people to an important topic, but it also led to many misunderstandings about the physical and technical facts and studies involved in considering future climate heating. Some of these misunderstandings originate with the media, some result from the manner in which climate modelers make heating calculations, and a few result from words having meanings that are slightly different to scientists than they are to the general public. The most basic facts that one must understand are as follows, (i) Theory foreseeing a rapid climate heating during the coming decades is based on some of the best understood features of the atmosphere, (ii) The average surface temperature of the earth has increased during the past 120 years, but this increase has been far from uniform and does not prove or disprove that a climate heating is under way. (Hi) The technology is available to begin decreasing rapidly the emission of infrared-trapping gases. Copyright 1990 Western Economic Association International.