Almost the entire world uses the metric system as the system of measurement, with units such as meters for distance, kilograms for mass, and newtons for force. People everywhere use these in their everyday lives, whether buying mushrooms at a market in Paris, France, or weighing yourself at a spa in Tahiti. The United States, however, is one of THREE stubborn holdouts that does not. Despite this, scientists here, like their colleagues around the globe, do use the metric system in measurements, reports, and calculations. EXCEPT in meteorology, where it is common to use so-called United States customary units for reporting things such as wind speeds (in knots) and surface temperatures (in degrees Fahrenheit). We are clearly out-of-step with the rest of the world, so does the metric system make more sense and should we switch to it?
Please note that no matter what position you take, YOU MUST SUPPORT YOUR POSITION WITH REFERENCES. Just saying “I think…” or “I feel…” or “In my opinion…” IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
These resources may help you answer this question:
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- The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Metric Program Page and their publication, “Toward a Metric America”
- The US Metric Association’s Origin of the Metric System
- The Atlantic’s Who’s Afraid of the Metric System?
- The Smithsonian’s “America Has Been Struggling With the Metric System For Almost 230 Years”
- “Metric mishap caused loss of NASA orbiter” from CNN
Your assignment should be about 1-2 pages in length, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and typed in 12-point Times New Roman. All assignments are to be submitted electronically through this course module. No printed or emailed essays will be accepted. Each essay will be checked by Turnitin, generating an originality report, which will be available for you to see. I strongly suggest that you rewrite any submission that has a similarity score greater than 15. Even if you quote and attribute quotes properly, a score that high or higher means you are not putting enough of your thoughts into the assignment. Any sources used in the assignment must be cited and attributed correctly. Note that failure to do so constitutes plagiarism. All instances of plagiarism will result in a grade of zero for the assignment