That's right: Centimeters, liters, and kilometers could be heading our way, and we Americans can throw our arms in the air like we really do care and shout en masse: Noooooooooooo!
According to the petition on the White House website:
The United States is one of the few countries left in the world who still have not converted to using the Metric System as a standardized system of measurement. Instead of going along with what the rest of the world uses, we stubbornly still adhere to using the imprecise Imperial Unit - despite the fact that practically every other country that we interact with uses Metric.Yada, yada, yada -- we were talking about going Metric when I was a kid in the 1970s. It never happened. Today, the United States is one of three countries that does not yet adhere to the Metric System.
Why should we convert to using the Metric System? Because it's superior, less convoluted - everything is ordered in units of tens, while the chaotic arrangement of the Imperial System slows things down for us - not only in terms of education, but also businesses, science, foreign relations, and daily life.
But could we soon? The petition is gaining signatures rapidly. The Obama administration doesn't shrink from a good fight, either, and it is proving to be pretty darn good at political poker. Could it come within inches, er centimeters, of going three rounds over Metrics vs. the Imperial System with Congress, or whoever would have to vote on it? Will the Obama administration be willing to walk a country kilometer in search of global conversion conformity?
Who knows, but I'm picturing the average non-scientifically-inclined American employee running for the hills thinking, "OMG, how long is a meter? Anyone know? I'm an American, I shouldn't have to know this stuff." I'll admit that the humanities major in me quivers a bit.
Just imagine all the lost productivity in the short term, as well as all of the simple math mistakes. They could add up. Managers could have to come up with a new metric to figure it all out.