“[Nature] was gone before you were born, before your parents were born, before the pilgrims arrived, before the pyramids were built. You are living on a used planet…We now live in the Anthropocene–a geological epoch in which [Earth has been] shaped primarily by human forces.“
The thesis reminds me of one of E.O. Wilson’s statement that (paraphrasing) humans have tipped everything out of balance since they emigrated from a particular plain in Africa.
You can find Ellis’s op-ed is on Wired Science.