Articles

How to make Metric go Forward

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 by edwinforyouthrights Tagged:

Typed by Edwin Bonilla

Most countries have made the right decision by adopting the metric system so as result; they are synchronized with the global economy. For those countries, package labeling laws don’t slow down their exports and products can easier be made with an efficient measurement system. However, when it comes to trade, we don’t have the same experience. When it comes to making products, the advantages of the metric system are many times ignored. For this and other reasons, the United States should go metric.

Fortunately, the U.S. is somewhere on the metrication spectrum. Modifying laws and creating new laws for fully adopting the metric system would complete the legal part of the conversion. The social aspect of metrication, where no laws are required, is important because helping people adjust to the metric system is what metrication is about. Metrication should not be a process where people who are skeptical of the metric system feel that they are oppressed but rather, challenged to meet this future.

Part 1: The Legal Part of Metrication

  1. There is a law which allows for metric measurements on packages so to make sure that people readily know the metric system, metric only packaging should be required. A few exemptions would not stall metrication. Ireland is an example.
  2. Decades ago, metrication was proceeding ineffectively because it was voluntary so if metrication starts, it should be mandatory. In addition, there should be a reasonable timetable to achieve the goals of this process. 12 years for completing metrication would be reasonable since the American system of measurement is part of the culture.
  3. Cars will have to have speedometers with km/h displayed where mph is currently displayed. Gas stations will have to sell gasoline by the liter. State transportation bureaus and federal government bureaus of this kind will have to become metric with everything. In addition, fuel efficiency will have to be measured in liters per 100 kilometers.
  4. Years ago in the United Kingdom, food vendors who didn’t comply with metric laws were arrested but were praised for their resistance.  Allowing dual mesaurement is the answer. If a food vendor were to give measurements in the metric system and in the American system, then that person should not be punished. This would be legal if the end of metrication is four years or more years away. Later on, if a food vendor does not give a metric measurement for something she or he is selling to a person, then that person should be arrested.
  5. In addition to products, services will also have to be metric when a person is being billed. Kilojoules would determine a bill’s payment amount instead of BTUs and so forth with other services. No one should be billed according to the American system of measurement. People in the service industry should be allowed to give information in the American system but the bill must be determined with metric system.

Part 2: The Social Part of Metrication

  1. Schools, colleges, and universities should give more emphasis on the metric system. There should never be laws which dictate curriculum of universities, colleges and schools. Since colleges and schools have courses which teach the metric system, this important goal will be easy to complete.
  2. News programs should give segments about the continuing metrication process. Hosts and TV anchors should never be required by law or rule by the government to give segments about the metric system or metrication. The media will be important in informing everyone about the effects of metrication.
  3. The medical profession should be encouraged to medical readings in the metric system. If a person asks for how she or he weighs in kilograms, then the physician should give the answer. Medical information in pamphlets and through other formats should also be metric. Before four years until the end of metrication, it should be up to the hospitals and clinics to decide if they will be metric only or be dual.
  4. The United States Metric Association should be given authority, as it did in the 1970s and early 1980s, to distribute information about the national metrication process. It is better for the USMA to distribute information and guidelines about the metric system because the USMA is the premier organization for this goal.
  5. The federal government should inform people about metrication and about the metric system. Government websites can educate people about the metric system and give them information about the effects of upcoming laws or current laws regarding the metric system.

The goal to fully adopt the metric system has been a dormant goal for decades but I want to see the metric system take precedent over the American system measurement. The metric system is a good measurement system because it is not hard to convert between units. There are people who like to spend a lot of time on complex math problems but for the rest of us, measuring and converting between units should not feel like solving an algebra equation.

Lastly, if I limited myself to typing one article about the metric system, that article would be like many pro-metric websites I have come across. Many of those websites are in the style of the 1990s and have not been updated in years. Those websites don’t do much to help the metric system in the U.S. because it will take motivation and commitment for metrication to start.

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