The world is metric: America should catch up

By Brandon Johnston / Special to The Delta

Americans are very patriotic people. They believe they live in the greatest country in the world. They claim they are the biggest and most powerful force on the planet. However they are still stuck in the dark ages. 

By using an outdated form of measurement America is still behind everyone else in the world. The United States of America remains one of three countries in the world to continue to use this measurement system. Myanmar and Liberia (both of which are third world countries) are the other two.

This may not seem like a big deal to many American citizens as they have used this system for their entire lives. But it is time for the ‘greatest country in the world’ to catch up with everyone else.

One reason why there needs to be a change is that the metric system is still taught to American students. In high school some math teachers require students to have to convert imperial measurements to the metric measurements. Instead of briefly touching on conversion, why not just teach the metric system?

The metric system is much simpler to learn as it is based off of everything being one a tenth of the measurement before. For example one kilometre (km) is made up of one thousand metres (m). One metre is made up of one hundred centimetres (cm) and one centimetre is made up of ten millimeters (mm). 

This is the same for all metric measurements including liquid and weight making it really easy to convert different measurements. Another thing about the metric system that makes it so easy is that one litre of water will weigh one kilogram. This means that changing measurements from volume to weight is simple.

In comparison, having to convert in the imperial system can be hard even for Americans. Having to know how many feet are in a yard or how many yards are in a mile is difficult to find out.

Another thing that blows my mind is that the metric system is still used in American life. Track runners use kilometres for their distance and kilometres per hour measurements are featured on many American speedometers. 

One problem I can see with changing to the metric system is the road signs all around the country. Having to replace all of them would cost millions of dollars. But a solution for this would be to do something similar to England. 

The English use the metric system for everything else other than their roads. The road speeds are still measured in miles per hour. This would decrease the cost of switching over to kilometres and would also lessen the blow of changing everything over at once.

I believe that America can change over to the metric system. It would take a few years as it would start in schools and the imperial system would slowly be faded out as generations grow older. The immediate impact would be a huge one unless it is slowly introduced. But it is something that in my opinion needs to be done. 

Some may complain that it is too late or too hard to change. But if the US no longer wants to be the laughing stock of all other countries around the world, (apart from Burma and Liberia) it is something that needs to happen.

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