Not sure what your big issue is with this article, but the statement Vogt made about 100% possibility for life is a personal opinion, not science. I thought the article and other scientists quoted made that pretty clear.
As for the scientific process and the money granted to them for their work, you may want to do some more in depth research on the outcomes of this type of research. There are a lot of big finds in the universe. Without this type of research, hydrogen as a long term fuel replacement for vehicles would not be a viable option, as it is slowly becoming. We have learned so much so quickly the last 30 years, that our textbooks are out of date the moment they they are printed. Much of what I learned about science has been proven wrong and many older theories are no longer viable. Einstein's theories on the universe used to be a gold standard, but now are accepted as helpful to the evolution of science, but not much else.
My point being, that though you may not like the way one man stated his opinion doesn't mean that the whole of the scientific community is in agreement with him. Nor does it mean you have to believe his opinion, just as he doesn't have to agree with you on any given issue. The world and universe is a constantly changing and evolving place and the discovery of a planet with water and stable climate that may harbor life would be a huge milestone for us as the human race. It would have a profound affect on our world as we would be assured that we are not the only "life" in the universe. The religious backlash of us finding life on a planet similar to ours could be the most disturbing, I could see the radical religious becoming violent as they are prone to do, but that is way off topic.