It does not matter to me one iota if the auto stop feature does a world of good saving the earth from global warming or, at another extreme, does irreparable harm to the engine. I F&*$%^G hate it!!!!! It is too disconcerting to have the reassuring sound and feel of an idling engine, ready to provide welcome power with no latency at a slight push of the accelerator pedal, just suddenly die in awkward silence. And BS on the A/C running: The engine still stops with the A/C running and the A/C performance is degraded as air supply temps rise somewhat before the engine restarts. As I opined in other posts, I would probably be more receptive to this inane and annoying feature if it was a feature I grew up with but it was not and I now instantly put the knob in Sport Mode every time I start the car. It prevents the engine from auto stopping, it gives a more satisfying throttle response, the exhaust takes on a really satisfying note, and the A/C, in the hot south Florida summer, cools better.
With respect to the question above "was wondering how the A/C could possibly be remotely effective if the engine is not running" here is maybe an answer. The compressor actually does not run continuously to prevent the evaporator from freezing up. Some combination of actual evaporator surface temps and refrigerant suction pressure is now used in most cars to reguraly engage/disengage the compressor clutch. I am not sure but I strongly suspect the engine auto stops only during periods when the compressor clutch is disengaged. My first car, a 1964 Buick Electra, had something called a Suction Throttle Valve. If I understood it correctly it allowed the compressor to run continuously by controlling evaporator pressure and therefore its temperature. I read it allowed for excellent control and high cooling efficiency. I understood GM eventually went away from this feature because it became less expensive to contral evap temps other ways including just cycling the compressor on/off.
Just a bit of trivia on the A/C. The engine in my girlfriends Hybrid Lexus is frequently not running. The A/C compressor is a driven by an electric motor, not the engine, so it is always available. The Hybrid has a big ass HV battery that can support an electric motor driven compressor but no engine sound and feel is still very disconcerting.