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An Argument for the Metric System

Quickly, how many pounds are there in 100 ounces? How many feet are there in a mile? Which is greater: 5.5 pints, 94 fluid ounces, or 3 quarts? How many square yards are there in an acre?

At the very least, most people would fumble a bit before seriously answering any of these questions. Maybe even use a calculator or reference guide. At worse, some people would not try or be able to answer some of these questions.

The Imperial System is obviously very clumsy and confusing to use even for Americans. This is the reason why the United States of America should finally stop using the Imperial System of measurement. To be fair, there are two other countries that also use the Imperial System, and they are Liberia and Myanmar (Burma).

These three countries should instead use the Metric System. The Metric System is superior to the Imperial System for three reasons.

First, the Metric System is simple to understand. The simplicity of a base 10 system of measurement, such as the Metric System, makes it extremely easy to understand especially when dealing different scales of measures, such as meters versus kilometers. For example, it is obvious that 100 meters is 1/10 of a kilometer. No serious thinking is necessary.

Second, calculations in the Metric System are also easier. This is probably why most researchers, doctors, and scientists use the Metric System even in the United States. For example, which is greater: 989 grams, 1.1 kilograms, or 1 million milligrams? How many meters are there in a kilometer? How many milliliters are there in 1.25 liters?

Third, the Metric System is the international standard. This is probably the most important reason. Car manufacturers already realized that having similar parts in different measurements for different countries was a waste of resources, so all cars are now built using the Metric System for redundancy eliminations and cost reductions. Furthermore, all goods exported outside of the United States have to be label in metrics, or else they can not be sold. N.A.S.A. actually lost a $125 million dollar spacecraft, called the Mars Climate Orbiter, over the planet Mars, because one team was using the Metric System and another team was using the Imperial System. That was a very costly mistake that could have been avoided if everyone in the world used the same system of measurement. Since over 90% of the world uses the Metric System, it is by default the international standard.

The Metric System has been proven to be far superior than the Imperial System, so why hasn't the United States of America converted? I believe it is NOT because Americans are afraid of the Metric System, but rather Americans are concerned over how painful the conversion process would be. In the long term, I believe the benefits and cost savings to convert to the Metric System would greatly offset the short term inconveniences.

As a result, the United States of America should finally and completely stop using the Imperial System of measurement for the Metric System that has been proven to be simpler to understand, easier to calculate, the international standard, and reduce redundancies, errors, and costs.

So fellow Americans, please contact your elected officials and let them hear our logical reasons for a better system of measurement.

by Phil for Humanity
on 05/11/2007

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