If you live in Orange County, you’re probably worried about global warming. In fact, Orange County residents are more worried about global warming than the residents of any other county in the state.

How do I know? My colleagues, researchers at Yale University, used national polling data plus demographic and geographic characteristics to estimate the attitudes, beliefs, and opinions about global warming of people living in every U.S. county. Those estimates form the backbone of the Yale Climate Opinion Maps, which can be used by journalists, elected officials, and everyone else to see what their neighbors think about global warming.

For Orange County, a few data points stick out.

Orange County residents overwhelmingly understand that global warming is real.

Eighty-one percent of us agree that it’s happening, nine percentage points higher than the national average.

Eighty-one percent of us agree that it’s happening, nine percentage points higher than the national average.

A sizable majority of Orange County residents also know that global warming is caused by human activities.

Sixty-five percent of us understand that people are responsible for warming the climate — primarily by burning fossil fuels, which trap heat in our atmosphere like a blanket traps heat around you at night.

About a quarter of Orange County residents mistakenly believe that global warming is caused mostly by natural changes. FYI, at least 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and human-caused.

Most Orange County residents think global warming is bad.

Seventy-eight percent of us think global warming will harm plants and animals, 77% think it will harm future generations, and 66% think it’s already harming people in the U.S.

And 73% of us are worried about it, the highest level of worry in the state.

Most Orange County residents want elected officials to take action.

Almost two-thirds — 65% — of us think that local elected officials should do more to address global warming. And 85% of us want schools to teach about global warming.

For the newly elected town council and school board members in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, that’s quite the mandate.

In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.

Sara Peach is a Carrboro resident and the editor-in-chief of Yale Climate Connections, a climate news service based at Yale University.