I don't write about global warming, but I decided I'd post up this comment from Ed Brayton because it expresses my viewpoint so well:
Cognitive shortcuts are leapfrogs over study and analysis to reach a conclusion without going through those intermediary steps. The most common type of shortcut is group identification. If you place yourself within a group - political, religious, ideological, etc - and you are confronted by an issue you do not understand, the default response is to accept whatever the position of that group is and to presume that it must be correct even though you have not taken the time to do any study that would justify that conclusion.
If you're a conservative, you will blindly accept the standard conservative position on global warming. The leaders of the group you place yourself in have assured you that global warming is a myth, perhaps even a cover for evil intentions, and that is all you think you need to know. If you're a liberal, you will blindly accept that global warming is a serious problem for the same reason, because the people you respect and follow have told you so.
But in reality, a vanishingly small number of people in either group has ever looked at the actual data and an even smaller number is capable of understanding it, analyzing it and reaching rational conclusions about it. And that includes me. If I took a long period of time and researched the subject, I am certainly capable of understanding it and reaching well-informed conclusions. Though I am a layman without any particular training in science, I have long done so in regard to evolution and the geological history of the earth and that is why I can confidently and reasonably take positions on those subjects and defend them.
I have not done so with global warming, which means I'm using a cognitive shortcut as well. I defer to many scientists, some of whom and I know personally, who assure me that the evidence for global warming and a significant human role in making it worse is real. I defer to people like Chris Mooney, who has taken the time, in researching an entire book on the question and interviewing those at the center of the dispute, to do what I have not.
Read the entire post.