Oh, I don't know... 50 years (?!) ago, it was at least humorous. Having just taken two toddlers to see the circus last weekend, I found this one especially funny.
Modern folks think they are required to have air conditioning
Tallahassee resident and former South Florida resident here. Sure, A/C isn't required. Neither is an internet connection. Neither is electricity, if you want to debate the meaning of "required". But all of those are necessary for modern life. Summers in Florida without A/C consist primarily of sitting on a porch, fanning yourself and drinking iced tea. It makes for a nice "Andy Griffith" tableau, but for those of us not benefiting from coastal breezes (like Jacksonville), we'd rather get some work done.
As far as older folk and kids "keeling over", heat strokes do still happen, and they happened more frequently before air conditioning became commonplace. Sure, most of them are northern transplants who don't know you can suffer from dehydration without feeling thirsty.
All that being said, I think you're 100% correct about home design and landscaping. The amount of land here that has had its native live oaks bulldozed to make way for a subdivision with puny little trees in their front yards is mind boggling. I'd love to see more houses look like this, or at least landscaped according to this.
we prefer to sip sweet things (like liqueurs) out of small glasses, and quaff bitter things (like beer) in pint glasses
There's something in what you say, evidenced by the tall thin shape of champagne flutes, but don't you think that liqueurs are sipped out of small glasses primarily because they're only served in small quantities? One shot of a liqueur in a pint glass would look ridiculous, and a pint glass full of a liqueur would... I'm getting a headache trying to imagine the near-fatal hangover that would cause.
Likewise, espresso is served in tiny quantities only. A full mug of espresso would be a recipe for cardiac arrest.
The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.