America Uses Fahrenheit. The Rest of the World Uses Celsius. America Is Right. The Rest of the World Is Wrong.


Vox has a post up called “Why Americans still use Fahrenheit long after everyone else switched to Celsius.” In it Zack Beauchamp sides with the standard line that America should jump on the Celsius train and leave Troglodyte Station.

The bizarre measurements commonly used in the US, including Fahrenheit, are bad for its scientific establishment, its kids, and probably its businesses.

Susannah Locke lays out the case for Celsius and the rest of the metric system very persuasively, but here’s a brief recap. The simpler metric scales make basic calculations easier and thus less error-prone. American companies incur extra costs by producing two sets of products, one for the US and one for the metric using world.

American parents and caregivers are more likely to screw up conversion rates when they give out medicine, sending some children, who are more susceptible to overdoses, to the hospital. Further, American students have to be trained on two sets of measurements, making basic science education even more difficult.

Going back to Jefferson there have been many movements to get the US to metricate. Lincoln Chaffee wants to get the US to adopt the metric system, too.

But I am a red-blooded American boy who likes listening to Tom Petty and riding motorcycles and wearing blue jeans and using Fahrenheit so Vox‘s post made me think of this great chart from the wonderful site isomorphismes which explains why our temperature measurement system is the best temperature measurement system.

“Fahrenheit uses its digits more efficiently than Centigrade” isomorphism

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest