28 Sep 2017

Dear National Geographic: Please use metric units!

I sent this in, but here's your copy :)
Dear editor,

The ongoing use of imperial units (feet, Fahrenheit, etc.) is one reason why Americans are disengaged from climate change. When they read reports with “foreign words,” they may (wrongly) assume that those words don’t apply in the US — just as Euro prices or Chinese language don't apply.

National Geographic brings complex topics into common understanding. Using the units of global discussion and scientific research would help Americans engage with those topics. Please consider adding metric units to help your readers access these very important topics.

David Zetland, PhD
A US citizen living in The Netherlands


  1. David,

    As an American, I blame all this on our former imperial overlords- the British.

    I am at least thankful that we didn't take up the practice of measuring our body weight in stone!

    1. Yep. Drop a stone on your foot and it hurts a lot more than a pound! ;)


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