Articles

The Metric System is the Standard

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2011 by edwinforyouthrights Tagged:

Let's make this a reality.

Typed by Edwin Bonilla

The metric system is also called the System of International Measurements because it is the dominant system of measurement on our planet. It is good that the metric system is dominant because it is efficient. Unlike the American system of measurement, the metric system uses 10 as a base. 1,000 grams is one kilogram and one milliliter is one thousandth of a liter. In the American system of measurement, converting inches to feet takes too much work. One mile is 5,280 feet. I know that conversions between those units will take two minutes. Although the United States hasn’t fully adopted the metric system, the countries we trade with rightfully expect the metric system to be used in exports and imports. Trade is not the only expectation. Driving from Michigan to Ontario or from Texas to Tamaulipas involves obeying a metric speed limit. I have read a news article of an American man accidently breaking the speed limit in Canada because he thought that the speed limit was in miles per hour. He drove extremely fast. If the United States completed metrication, there would be kilometer per hour speed limit signs, packages would only be in the metric system, temperature would be read in Celsius and weight would be read in kilograms.

In 2011, no one will probably know when the United States completes metrication because Ronald Regan stopped it. In the 1980s, political ideologies showed their view of the metric system. Conservatives sided against metrication and liberals for metrication. In that decade, metrication slowed down in Canada, the United Kingdom and in the United States. The impact can still be felt in the U.S. I support the United States Metric Association but if you check its website in two years, you will probably see that the website’s content has changed little. It’s good that the USMA exists, but since the movement for fully adopting the metric system is small, the USMA has little power. If you are a supporter of the metric system, then you have probably read an article by an Australian man who thought that Barack Obama would re-start metrication. This is not a criticism of him. To get metrication started again, a strong movement is a must. Over time, we find out that traditions may lose their justification. We shouldn’t be stuck to a particular tradition only because it is part of culture. Racists in the 1960s used the sake of tradition to justify segregation. Homophobes in this century have used the sake of tradition to vote against same-sex marriage in referendums. A strong movement is needed to overcome challenges.

For people who support the metric system, let’s get the United States in sync with the rest of the world. I think that it can still be said that conservatives don’t like the metric system while liberals are open-minded. I am a liberal. There are people who think that if the U.S. was to entirely adopt the metric system, that we would lose a big part of our culture. Wrong! The metric system was created to make measuring efficient and to make conversions between units easier. Since the metric system is the dominant system of measurement in most countries, the U.S. and other countries which haven’t made it dominant should do so. If the U.S. was to adopt the metric system like New Zealand has, we could export easier. Food packaging would be understood by more people since they would only be in metric. Lumber would be measured in meters and centimeters. Car companies could export easier because one assembly line for a car model would increase efficiency. All of this would increase trade. Although some people believe that the cause for metrication is useless, they shouldn’t be so pessimistic because metrication would bring many benefits.

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